When Should Employees Get Paid for Time Spent Traveling?

Posted by GNSA on Apr 29, 2024 1:00:01 PM

Paying employees is generally a simple concept. They work a certain number of hours, they get paid for those hours. However, certain circumstances can arise in which the question of "Do I need to pay employees for that?" can come up and be tough to answer. Driving and travel time are some of those complicated situations. 

Here is what employers should know about when to pay employees for travel time in Oregon.

Oregon Travel Time Pay

Generally paying employees in Oregon is simple. Employees should be compensated for any time that falls under the definition of hours worked in Oregon. However, when it comes to driving and travel time specifically, it can be a little less clear as to what time is compensated. 

In Oregon, there are four different types of travel in regard to Oregon Labor Laws. Each one has its own rules and regulations regarding compensation.

How Much Do I Get Paid for Travel Time in Oregon?

Employers do not need to pay employees their regular rate of pay for travel time. However, employers must still satisfy Oregon Minimum Wage when choosing their travel time pay rate. Employers should also ensure that any paid travel time is included in hours worked under Oregon Overtime Law, as well as calculating the regular rate of pay.

Pay for Commuting Time in Oregon

The first type of travel time under Oregon Law is referred to as Portal-to-Portal Travel, more commonly referred to as commuting. 

So the question is, "Does my employer need to pay me for my commute to work?"

Employers are not required to pay employees for the time they spend commuting to and from work. However, employers may enact policies or contracts in which they agree to do so.

Pay for Traveling Between Worksites in Oregon

The next type of travel time under Oregon Law is referred to as Travel Between Worksites. This type of travel refers to any time an employee spends traveling between multiple worksites in a single day. 

So the question is, "Does my employer need to pay me for traveling between worksites?"

The answer is dependent on the work. When an employee must travel between multiple worksites in order to accomplish the day's work, then that travel time must be paid. Examples include landscape employees, appliance repair employees, and more.

Any employees who must first report to an initial location to pick up tools or a company vehicle are not required to be compensated for the time it takes to get to that first location. However, they must be compensated for any time spent traveling from that initial location to the first actual work site. 

Pay for Special One-Day Assignments

Occasionally, and depending on the nature of the work, an employer may require that an employee report to an alternate worksite for a day, as opposed to their regular place of work. It's possible that this alternate worksite may be closer, or farther away from the employee's regular place of work.

So the question is, "Does my employer need to pay me for time spent traveling to an alternate worksite?"

If an employer requires an employee to travel to an alternate worksite that alters their typical commute, whether or not the employee must be paid depends on just how far the alternate worksite is from their regular place of work.

If a worksite is over 30 miles away from the employee's regular place of work, then the employer must compensate the employee for the time spent traveling to said alternate worksite. 

Important to note is that this rule only applies if an employee has a fixed, regular place of work. Employees who travel to a different location each day do not fall under this rule.

Pay for Overnight Travel

Whether or not an employer is required to pay employees for overnight trips and related travel depends on the circumstances of the travel. 

So the question is "Does my employer need to pay me for overnight travel?"

During an overnight trip any time spent traveling during normal work hours, of the employee, must be compensated. This includes weekends. Additionally, any time in which the employee is required to be driving must also be compensated. 

Example Scenario

Pay for Mileage in Oregon

Oregon law does not require that employees be compensated for mileage. However, if an employer chooses to pay for mileage, it does not substitute compensation for travel time stated above. 

Get Help with Oregon Payroll

Understanding the rules for travel time compensation in Oregon is vital for compliance and accurate payroll processing. 

When it comes to ensuring accurate payroll, modern payroll software is the key to strong compliance practices while minimizing the administrative burden. 

To learn more about an Oregon Payroll Service, or to get help with processing payroll in Oregon, businesses should reach out to an Oregon Payroll Company for help. 

To learn how GNSA is helping countless Oregon businesses process payroll accurately, compliantly, and on time, contact us today.

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Topics: Payroll, Oregon Payroll, Oregon Labor Laws, Payroll Compliance, Oregon Compliance


Written by GNSA

GNSA is a Payroll, Human Resource, and Benefits Administration firm specializing in serving the small to middle market. Started in 1997, GNSA has steadily grown from year-to year as more and more companies have identified GNSA as the premier outsourced service provider. At GNSA we believe that the strength of the United States economy resides in the small to mid-market, therefore GNSA has focused its efforts towards better serving this segment.

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