When Does a Contractor Have to be Paid for Travel Time?

One of the most common errors made under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is failing to pay a worker properly for travel time. As a contract recruiter, your clients may expect you to know the guidelines for travel pay and ask for advice. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

  • A contractor does not have to be paid for ordinary daily travel from work-to-home and vice versa.
  • Contractors who normally work at a fixed location but are given a one-day assignment in another town must be paid for travel time (excluding normal home-to-work time).
  • When driving is part of their “principal activity (i.e., driving from work site to work site), that drive time should be counted as time worked.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division provides a Fact Sheet on Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act that you may want to access and keep in handy in case your contract staffing services clients have questions regarding circumstances under which a contractor must be paid.

Many times, paid travel time and per diem go hand in hand. For information about per diem, check out our blog post about per diem for contractors.

contractor travel time

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

2 responses to “When Does a Contractor Have to be Paid for Travel Time?”

  1. Richard Payne says:

    I live in Birmingham and I’m currently working in London stopping in a hotel Monday to Friday should the contractor I’m working for pay my traveling time on a Monday and Friday by law ? If u could help with this question I would be very grateful
    Thanks Richard

    • Torie Mickley says:

      Hi Richard,

      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we can’t offer legal advice for any specific situations. We recommend you contact the Wage and Hour Division for further details and advice. Their website is http://www.dol.gov/whd/ and their toll-free information and helpline is 1-866-487-9243.

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