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Travel Safely! FLSA Travel Policy Compliance for Non-Exempt Employees – Live Webinar
April 4, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT$145
1.5 HRCI Recertification Credits and 1.5 SHRM PDCs
Don’t be caught off-guard. The travel policy can be a very confusing and risky road to drive for many employers. Fasten your seat belt, keep your arms and legs inside at all times and enjoy the ride. Understanding and being aware of work time situations is critical to not end up in a serious collision and to avoid possible wage and hour claims with the Department of Labor.
The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, are clear on this issue. Travel time associated with overnight stays is generally considered compensable work time when the business travel as a passenger cuts across the nonexempt employee’s normal work hours, regardless of what day of the week the travel takes place.
In the Portal-to-Portal Act, an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Congress attempted to clarify the treatment of travel time for purposes of wage payment and overtime requirements. Although some questions about travel time still remain, many have been answered. Additionally, some states, have laws that differ from the FLSA regarding the inclusion of travel time in the calculation of hours worked.
Many employers incorrectly believe that no compensation is required for employees traveling on company business. This is a myth. Many employees are in fact entitled to their regular rate of pay, and sometimes overtime pay, when traveling on company business. In this webinar, you will learn when and how you must compensate employees for their travel time.
A number of companies have been hit with lawsuits alleging that they’re cheating employees out of pay – and overtime wages – by failing to compensate their workers for drive time. While not all drive time is compensable, one lawsuit against marketing powerhouse Acosta Sales resulted in a $10 million settlement for a group of 6,000 merchandisers who traveled between retail stores to make sure products were properly displayed.
Thousands of wage and hour class actions asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act or parallel state laws are filed each year and the costs of defending these matters and the damages claimed and paid, whether through trial or settlement, are staggering.
Join Elga Lejarza as she covers the ins and outs of employee travel pay and expense reimbursement to help you steer clear of potential legal and regulatory headaches that can arise when your employees return from travel.
Why Should You Attend?
When employees travel for work, employers must be aware of their obligations under federal law. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its implementing regulations establish a complex series of legal requirements regarding the payment of overtime and minimum wages. Employee travel can result in an unwary employer facing an FLSA lawsuit when the employer does not compensate employees properly for time spent traveling for work. Employers may also violate minimum wage requirements by failing to pay certain employees for travel expenses. These are all areas ripe for confusion and it is important that you know the rules and correct standards to apply.
You Will Learn
- How to build a travel policy that complies with the latest FLSA/DOL rules
- Common travel related pay mistakes that land companies in court, and how to avoid them
- What is considered working time, and when travel time must be compensated
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), time spent by employees in activities before or after their shift might be considered as working time and is therefore compensable. These are the “soft,” “subtle” activities that employers may not necessarily, or automatically, think of as working time. If there are a number of employees in a particular classification performing this work, the danger arises that a FLSA class action may ensue. In addition, the FLSA must always be considered in relation to state and local news. These laws may provide for greater rights for employees. Generally, the rule states that whichever law is stricter for the employer, is the one that needs to be complied with.
One of these preliminary activities is travel time. Employees report to work and they go home, maybe from different locations. Maybe they transport tools or special equipment. So, do any of these circumstances change their home-to-work commutes into compensable time? What if they are installation or technician employees and their first commute in the morning involves a lengthy distance? Does that alter the otherwise non-compensable nature of their travel? What are the rules when employees drive company vehicles? Does that change the commute into compensable time? What circumstances, if any, exist to compel payment for such travel time in a company vehicle? The employer is able to deal with these various scenarios and protect itself by the crafting and implementation of a travel time policy that addresses these issues.
There are DOL guidelines and court precedent that speak to this issue and drafting a compliant policy will stave off possible legal action and ensure good employee relations. There are many other working time issues and flashpoints. More and more litigation concerns the engagement in preliminary and postliminary activities and whether those activities rise to the level of actual “work.” Employers need to be able to recognize when potential issues may exist, especially if there are several or a group (i.e. class) of employees performing the same preliminary activity.
Maybe the employers lose the understanding of legal nuances involved in the matters, and that is the reason this webinar by expert speaker Elga Lejarza will explain the ‘art’ to recognize when do such issues as well as exposures present themselves, and how you can rectify them before the start of real trouble. This Webinar will explain the concepts of Employee Travel Pay. The session will also analyze the core problematic areas and suggest policies and protocols to address this specific issue that are strategic and proactive. This webinar will also benefit you by providing practical advice, as well as legalities analysis to ensure that the top problem areas/issues are found out, and how they can be fixed.
Areas Covered in the Session
This information-packed webinar explores how to create a travel policy that is clear, concise, and complies with DOL and FLSA rules. This comprehensive program covers real-life non-compliance cases related to compensation and travel, with a focus on:
- Defining the FLSA regarding travel pay
- Defining the Concept and Examples of Portal to Portal Act
- Understanding employers’ obligations to comply with the Portal to Portal Act
- Understanding the Concept of Preliminary/Postliminary Work
- Recognizing the Kinds of Employee Travel—When Are They Compensable
- Describing how employee exempt or non-exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) affect travels compensation
- Identifying the appropriate rate of pay for travel time
- Recognizing when commuting expenses are to be reimbursed
- Recognizing when between assignments is compensable
- Describing reimbursement and compensation rules for extended assignments at temporary locations
- Listing specific rules for overnight travel
- Describing travel, entertainment, gift & car expense reimbursements
- Explaining accountable vs. non-accountable plan payments
- Describing the travel advance trap and how to avoid it
- Describing how to communicate travel policies via an employee manual
- Recognizing employers’ liability to employees and third parties for damages arising from company travel
- Understanding Rules for Commuting for Work in Emergency Situations
- Proactive Strategizing: Drafting An Appropriate Travel Time Policy
- The Concept and Examples of DOL – Wage and Hour Opinion Memorandum Class Action Trigger Points.
- Identifying other Working Time Issues
- Determining Hours Worked at the Start and End of the Work Day
- Describe reimbursement and compensation rules for extended assignments at temporary locations
- Activities/exercises/practices applying the knowledge
- And much, much more!
Key Topics to be addressed include
General Requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Similar State Wage and Hour Laws
Work Time Issues at the Start and End of the Work Day
- Work at Home
- Commuting and Travel Time
- Security Screening
- Clothes Changing, and Donning and Doffing
- Waiting and Walking Time
- Pass-Down Time and Employee Discussions
- Computers, Equipment and Tools
- Time Recording Issues That Complicate Class Wage Claims
- The Need for Accurate Records
- The Use of Time Rounding Systems
- The Impact of Attendance Policies
- What Can an Employer Do to Minimize the Risks?
Who will benefit
- HR Professionals
- Office Managers
- Business Owners
- Compliance Officers
- Financial Officers,
- Employee Relations Professionals
- Employee Assistance Professionals
- Anyone looking to improve their influence or professional effectiveness.
- Private sector
- Public Sector
- Small to medium sized companies