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Employment Law/Pay for weekend hours offsite


Hello Michael,
Two actual examples that happened to me recently.
I work for a large global company, as a service/training technician.
I'm an hourly, non-exempt employee in the U.S.A.
The company sent me to another state (320miles away) on a training assignment and the classes were held M/T/W/TH of the first week and the same days on the 2nd week. Am I entitled to pay for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday I am REQUIRED to stay before the next class begins? They just want to pay per diem and hotel.
Almost the same scenario, a two week service support job and I arrive at the company that requested the service (590miles away) on Monday and support the site M/T/W/TH/F and Saturday, the customer decides NOT to work Sunday. Should I get paid for being required to stay there Sunday even we though I am not allowed to work?
Thanks in advance.


Your question raises a common issue when dealing with non-exempt employees who travel - what time is compensable and what time is not?  In other words, what time counts as "work" and what time does not.  The answer becomes particularly important when calculating the overtime pay a worker is entitled to receive during these travel weeks.

The general rule under the FLSA (federal overtime wage law) is that nonexempt workers must be paid for all hours actually worked, including time spent working offsite. Hours worked ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is required to be on the employer's premises, on duty or at a prescribed work place - but does not include any time during which you are completely relieved from duty. While this can sometimes get into a gray area with regard to complete relief from duty, if you are free to handle personal tasks and spend your time as you desire (eating, sleeping, sight seeing, going to a movie, etc.), it is usually not compensable time - even though you are away from home. So, based on the information you provided, my opinion would be that the days on which you are not required to perform any work would not be considered "compensable" time.  

The following is a link to a Department of Labor fact sheet on Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that provides general information concerning what constitutes compensable time under the FLSA :

While probably not the answer you wanted, I hope this information is helpful.

Michael D. Lore  

Employment Law

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Michael Lore


I will take questions regarding employment law, with a focus on wage and hour issues involving overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state laws (eg. California).


I am an attorney with 15+ years experience in the area of labor and employment law, with a practice that concentrates heavily in the area of wage and hour litigation - involving unpaid overtime wages, commissions, work related expenses and vacation pay.

American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Employment Lawyers Association

BBA in Finance, J.D.

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