Travel Pay Law & Legal Definition


Travel pay is usually paid to nonexempt workers for the time they spend traveling to work assignments. There are various federal and state laws, which vary by state, which regulate travel pay for certain public employees. It is often reimbursed on a per diem (per day) basis. Travel pay may cover, among others, such expenses as:

  1. Car rental or airline fare.
  2. Laundry/dry cleaning.
  3. Parking.
  4. Local transportation system fares.
  5. Taxi fares.
  6. Tips.
  7. Meal charges when the use of the card is impractical (e.g., group meals or when the card is not accepted at a dining establishment).
  8. Telephone calls (when a government calling card is available for use in accordance with agency policy).
  9. Lodging.
  10. Mileage.

Travel pay laws vary by state. Generally, normal home to work and work to home travel at the beginning of the day and at the end of the work day is not compensable. Travel between work sites is usually compensable, and usually an employee must be compensated for travel time on their regular days off if it cuts across their regular work hours. An employer can offer a different travel pay as long as it is the minimum wage and the employee is notified beforehand. Such time, however, must be considered hours worked and will be calculated for overtime purposes. Local law should be consulted for applicability in your area.