Nonexempt Travel Policy

June 2023

The purpose of this policy is to state the pay rules that apply to nonexempt employees for compensable time when traveling on PLU business.

Employees in positions classified as nonexempt under federal and state law are eligible for compensation for the time they spend traveling. PLU follows all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the payment of travel time. PLU compensates employees for all hours worked at their regular rate of pay. All hours worked, including compensable travel time as detailed below, will be used in calculating an employee’s overtime hours and paid sick leave accrual.

The following policy describes some of the most frequent situations in which employees may be compensated for travel. However, some situations have unique characteristics that change whether time is compensable while traveling; in those cases, PLU follows applicable law.

Notification and Approval of Work-Related Travel and Methods of Transportation
PLU must authorize in advance all employee travel plans and modes of transportation when traveling for business purposes. Employees are responsible for accurately tracking, calculating, and reporting travel time on their timesheets in accordance with this policy. If an employee takes unapproved travel or takes an unapproved mode of transportation for business-related travel, they may be subject to corrective action.

Regular Commute Time
Generally, regular commute time to and from PLU is not considered work time and is therefore unpaid except under rare circumstances, like being asked to run a work-related errand on the way to work. The time an employee spends before their workday driving from their home to PLU is not compensable. Likewise, the time an employee spends traveling home after their workday is not compensable.

Travel During the Workday
Travel during the workday as either a driver or passenger is considered “hours worked” and is therefore compensable if the travel is to complete job duties or is otherwise for PLU’s benefit. An employee’s time driving from one work location to another location for work-related activities is compensable. In contrast, travel for an employee’s own benefit is not compensable, such as traveling to and from lunch or to run a personal errand.

Out of Town Travel
When an employee is required to travel out of town for a work assignment, travel time is compensable from when the employee first leaves home until they arrive at their overnight lodging. This includes time driving to the airport, waiting time to board an airplane, train, bus, or other means of transportation, the actual travel time (including meal periods taken while traveling), and the time spent getting to their destination.

If an employee travels directly from the secondary airport to their hotel or other lodgings, their time is no longer compensable once they reach their lodgings provided that they are free from work duties.

When an employee is ready to return home from their out of town stay, they will be compensated for their time starting from when they leave their out of town hotel or other lodgings to their arrival at home or work.

When an employee is required to travel for a short-term period, like an all-day conference in a different city, the time spent traveling from home to the conference, attending the conference, and driving back home from the conference is compensable.

Recordkeeping Requirements
Employees must record their hours for compensation purposes and submit them to their supervisor on the time sheet. When asked to travel for a work-related purpose, employees should keep track of the following details and may be asked to provide them to their supervisor:

  • Dates and purpose of travel
  • Whether the travel was out of town, overnight, or local
  • Time and location of departure and arrival
  • Time and location of trip home
  • Total compensable travel hours

When traveling to or from a different time zone, please note that the “total compensable travel hours” and “total compensable hours performing job duties” categories of this report are for the total number of hours spent either traveling or performing job duties and not the time passed between time zones. For example, if an employee travels from 7AM PST to 7PM EST, they would report 9 total compensable travel hours.

Employees must accurately report their travel time on their time sheet. If an employee fails to report their travel time on their time sheet in the applicable pay period, they may be subject to corrective action.