The Portal-to-Portal Act provides that “walking, riding, or traveling to and from the actual place of performance of the principal activity or activities which such employee is employed to perform” is not included in the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Oftentimes, however, traveling field representatives, salesmen, repairmen, or other employees, should be paid for the time they spend driving. In this post, we’ll discuss what exemptions apply to compensation for travel time is in North Carolina.
To find if an individual employee should be paid for traveling, courts must decide the principal activity of the employee. The principal activity is the activity which a person is employed to perform. This includes all activities that are an integral and indispensable part of the principal activities.
For those employees that travel for a majority of their day, the driving time before and after work should be paid. When an employee is required to report to a meeting place to pick up tools or receive instructions it may be counted as hours worked. In the case of a field inspector who reports to a central office each morning to receive assignments and then reports every evening to report findings should be compensated for the driving time.
Employees should be paid for the time spent traveling from the place of your principal employment activity to another place performing another principal employment activity. For example, repairmen who travels from home to a job site and then to another job site should be compensated for the travel time from when he arrives at the first job site to when he leaves the last job site. The employee should not just be compensated for the time he is working at the job site alone.
There are many circumstances in which an employee should be paid for the time spent traveling for work. Employees who are unlawfully not being compensated may be entitled to damages in individual, collective and class action litigation. Such damages include: unpaid wages, back-pay, liquidated damages (double damages), costs, interest and attorneys’ fees. The statute of limitations is either two or three years depending on whether the violation was willful.
Maginnis Howard is an unpaid wage and overtime law firm that represents employees who were not lawfully paid their wages, including travel pay. The firm is knowledgeable in individual and collective employment law litigation. Contact the Raleigh unpaid wage and overtime lawyers at Maginnis Law, PLLC at 919.960.1545 for a free consultation regarding your rights or submit a confidential new case inquiry here. Maginnis Law, PLLC is a Raleigh firm handling employment cases dealing with unpaid wages and overtime throughout Wake County, Cary, Apex, Durham, Vance County, and Henderson. The firm takes certain wage and hour/overtime cases throughout North Carolina, particularly when groups of workers are involved. Contact the firm to discuss your overtime claim today.