Under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), employees are not entitled to be paid for travel time that is not a principal activity, namely, commuting to and from home and work. However, if an employee starts to perform work at home before the employee leaves for work, the travel time to work is compensable under the continuous work day rule. Principal activities are those that are an integral and indispensable part of the activities which the employee is employed to perform.
Also, travel time from an employee's work to home may be compensable if an employee goes home after completing a day's work and is then subsequently called out at night to perform more work.
Special one-day trips for assignments in another city may be compensable if the travel time is performed for the employer's benefit and at the employer's special request to meets the needs of the particular and unusual assignment.
Additionally, during a continuous workday, any walking or other travel time that occurs after the beginning of the employee's first principal activity and before the end of the employee's last principal activity is covered by the FLSA, and must be compensated. Courts have held that once an employee engages in compensable work at one site, they are entitled to be compensated for travel to the next job site.
A prime example of this is when a home health aide travels between client homes in the same workday. Home health aides are entitled to compensation for travel time between client appointments in the same work day.
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