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Drive Time vs. Travel Time Florida

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  • Drive Time vs. Travel Time Florida

    Does the FLSA differentiate between pay for travel time vs. pay for drive time? for example, if construction workers travel between job sites (In company trucks) and it causes them to be traveling outside regular work hours, I understand that as the passenger, the employer must only pay for the hours that fall within their regular working hours (even if it's on a weekend) - typically an 8 hr. day. However, if they are the driver, must the employer pay them for the entire time? Also, in either circumstance, can the employer pay them at a lower hourly rate (as long as it's at least minimum wage)? THANKS!

  • #2
    This is complicated.
    - Commutes are normally "not hours worked". There are a few exceptions. FLSA (mostly) does not care if the commute is to the "office" or to a workplace (more exceptions to this).
    - Drives between workplaces are normally hours worked.
    - Being a passenger per se is not by itself "hours worked", although some rules that look at that.
    - The "normal workhours" rule is generally associated with out of town travel (in which the employee does not return home at night).

    Rather then try to spell out all of the rules and the related exceptions, I am going to give you a pointer to the federal regulations. You need to look at everything in the 29 CFR 785.33-785.41 range.

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.33.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cmbeard View Post
      Also, in either circumstance, can the employer pay them at a lower hourly rate (as long as it's at least minimum wage)? THANKS!
      Maybe. Federal law does not ever care if a Non-Exempt employee is paid more then minimum wage. It is legal under federal rules to pay an NE employee for minimum wage for all hours, so it is legal under federal rules to pay an NE employee minimum wage for some hours. State law may or may not take issue. The key is mostly to make sure that the employee knows exactly what rate they are going to be paid [U]before[U] the work is actually done. And find out what the rules for your specific state(s) is.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        Our workers (construction) are paid for traveling (ride) time and drivers are paid Drive time. The rates differ for Drivers depending on the type of transpo - We pay RIDERS ony $5.50 - doesn't matter if it's a "regular" working day/time or not. (Even though $5.50 is lower than min. in Fla) We are allowed to do this because the rate is "blended" (work and ride/drive). "Ride" time outside of normal does NOT have to be paid here. We pay it anyway at a lower rate - total rate is "blended".

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        • #5
          A "blended" rate is the result of taking the regular pay for all hours worked in the workweek and dividing it by the number of hours worked (more commonly known the average or "regular" rate of pay. It is not a rate in and of itself. And, the "regular rate of pay" is a calculation needed only if overtime is worked.

          If the hours are deemed hours worked, they must be paid at minimum wage, at least.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            OK - maybe that is not the correct term - that is what my PEO uses. I didn't think it sounded right - especially the "ride" time, so I asked our version of the DOL. They did not correct the terminology, so I assumed it was correct. Does this mean they are doing it wrong? They have made soem mistakes in the past, I would hate this to be one of them.

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            • #7
              The problem is that there is no provision in the FLSA to pay less than minimum wage for any hours that are "hours worked" (except for directly-tipped employees, such as bartenders, servers, etc.). There is no reason you couldn't pay minimum wage for ride time or for drive time, but it would have to be the minimum wage effective in the state worked.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                The example I have from them is "when the work week totals more than 40hrs and there is NO travel time, OT are paid at 1.5 times your rate. When the work week totals more than 40 AND includes travel time hours, then a special calculation is made to blend the OT hours with the special travel hours. The Wage & Hour Board has provided the formula that we use." They give a math example of a worker that makes $13.00 WORKING, $10.00/hr DRIVING and $5.50 RIDING he had a total of 50 hrs (41 work 6 drive, 3 ride. His gross pay ended up to be $670.45 In the example they are "blending" the $13, $10 and $5.50 to come out to what they refer to as the blended average pay rate for the week ($12.19 in this case with $6.10 being the OT add-on factor.

                Does this look right to you? I know from experience trying to get the same answer twice from Wage & Hour for FL is a crapshoot at best. I always call back to get verifiction and ALWAYS ask for a Supervisor and ALWAYS get different answers to my questions. Thanks for your help.

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                • #9
                  That's the correct calculation in theory for "regular rate of pay" for purposes of calculating the premium portion of overtime, but it doesn't take it far enough. What wasn't clear in your post was the use of the term "blended rate" to actually represent the rate of pay used to pay the regular (not overtime) ride time. It sounds like they're using "blended rate" as merely the formula to determine the base rate of pay at which ride time will be paid.

                  But again, my caveat stands. If the time as a rider is hours worked (for example, from one job site to another), then it must be paid at, at least, minimum wage. The purpose of calculating a "blended rate" as you describe it is ONLY to determine the overtime premium (the half-time portion); other than that, it has no legal meaning. The "regular rate of pay" as defined by the FLSA fluctuates depending upon how many hours are worked at each hourly rate.

                  Here's the example:
                  http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR778.115.htm
                  Last edited by Pattymd; 08-14-2007, 10:59 AM.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    This is the original poster. I think what pattymd is trying to point out, is that your "error" may be in the determination of whether "ride" time is considered hours worked... it either is or it isn't. (not in how your "blended rate" is calculated) If it is, then they must be paid at least minimum wage (and those hours would be included when calculating overtime). If it isn't cosidered hours worked, you don't have to pay them at all. but since you do pay them, while that's a nice "bonus", you should be careful - as i have run across cases in which by way of paying them for the time, it can be "implied" hours worked. You should do more research regarding whether it truly is hours worked (i.e. what do they do, do they transport necessary equipment to a job site, etc.) Good luck.

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                    • #11
                      Pattymd... posting at the same time - thanks for the explanation!

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                      • #12
                        Sorry I wasn't clear - I was using their words, and I wasn't sure it was correct. Thank you for clearing all this up. Mostly this ride time is from our shop to the job which could be 10 blocks way or 300 miles away. My guys always question their first checks and I give them the "worksheet" that my PEO made for this reason. I really don't think they understand it too well so I get my calulator running and then they get it. Thanks again. This is a wonderful site that I use frequently.

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                        • #13
                          Oops, did I do the hijack thing? I know I answered, but , um I kind took off. Sorry

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                          • #14
                            I don't think it's a problem. Recent thread and it's all related.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                            • #15
                              Cmbeard - they are definetley not working - they are sleeping. "Ride time" kicks in at a 75 mile radius. The driver is doing the work - transporting, etc. He is always paid more than minimum. He is paid by the type of vehicle he is driving ( and licensed) pickups - $10.00, Class B (truck over 26,000) $13.00 and CDLA $15.00 while driving the tractor transporting equip. Thanks for responding. Sorry I kind of took over your thread!

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