Business Pitfall to Avoid: Not Paying Required Travel Time

Van vehicle driven by employee

Do you pay your employees to travel between work sites? Let's talk before the Department of Labor knocks on your door.

The U.S. Department of Labor requires employers to pay for travel time. The DOL's website says,

"Time spent traveling during normal work hours is considered compensable work time."

U.S. Department of Labor

Travel time is a serious matter, and disgruntled employees are suing companies for failure to comply. Most service-based businesses have hourly employees who work at multiple sites each day. The easiest way to comply with the travel time laws is to pay your employees from when they start their days to when they end. Easy? Yes. Best practice? No.

Let's establish the fact you should pay your hourly employees for travel between job sites. What's the best way to track travel time? Steer your company towards best business practices with our employee time clock app and our travel time tracker.

3 Reasons Tracking Travel Time is the Best Business Practice

1 - All the time between job sites shouldn't be paid

Your employees eat meals, buy lotto tickets, and pick up laundry between job sites. You don't want to pay for this personal time. Chronotek Pro's travel feature is integrated with Google Maps ™ and automatically creates a travel time card when your employee clocks out of one job and into a different one. We track the actual time your employee took, and Google Maps ™ estimates the time it should take. Set your default to pay the Google estimate, and don't sweat the stops at the convenience store.

2 - All the time at each job should be tracked

When employees clock in to start their shifts and out to end them and nothing in between, there's so much you don't know. For instance, how much time did your employees spend at each job site? The time worked at each job site should be tracked for proper job costing. Otherwise, how do you know if you're making money on each contract? When you have multiple jobs, you need to track labor costs at each one to know the winners and losers.

You might also discover an employee works an hour at a job, and you know it's always a 2-hour clean. You need employees to clock in and clock out at each job to prevent quality control issues.

3 - All the time between jobs should be tracked

Yes, paying for travel time is a federal law, but there are good business reasons to track travel time.

    • Your employee reports 5 hours of work every evening, but you don't know you're paying 2 hours between jobs. Travel Manager could reveal that travel time is closer to an hour and you're wasting an hour of pay.

    • Your employee drives 30 minutes each night to a job site or about 10 hours a month. The drive time is legitimate, but are you billing your customer for it? If not, that's $120-200 off your bottom line. Chronotek Pro's travel feature can apply travel time to the next job for accurate job costing and invoicing.

    • Your employee drives 30 minutes to a job for a one-hour clean. Is the job contract worth your time, or can you find another employee with a shorter distance to the job?

    • Your employees are paid a decent wage for work, but did you know you can pay a lower rate for travel time? You can as long as the lower wage meets minimum wage requirements and you have accurate tracking of work and travel time. Our travel time tracker breaks out work time and travel time to make paying different rates a breeze.

Save Time, Save Money and Stay Out of Trouble

Your best solution to the travel time issue is our employee time clock system. Employees clock in and out at each job location, and our system automatically creates travel time records. Pay the actual time between jobs or use Google MapsTM estimates. Use our job reports to analyze the time spent on the job against the time driving between jobs. We also capture mileage.

Let us help you avoid this major pitfall with travel time. Ensure compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor, get accurate time with great job reporting, save money, and stay focused on growing your business.

Try us free for 14 days and see if we can change your life.



In conclusion, ensuring compliance with regulations regarding travel time is crucial for businesses to avoid legal liabilities and maintain fairness in their workforce management practices. The blog post highlights the importance of accurately tracking and compensating employees for travel time as mandated by labor laws. By understanding the intricacies of travel time regulations and implementing robust time tracking systems, businesses can mitigate risks associated with non-compliance and protect their reputation. Moreover, fostering transparent communication with employees about travel time policies and providing clear guidelines for reporting and compensation helps build trust and accountability. Ultimately, by prioritizing compliance and fairness in paying required travel time, businesses can uphold ethical standards and minimize the potential for disputes or legal challenges.

By embracing these solutions, you can simplify payroll processes, reduce administrative burdens, eliminate time theft, and minimize costly mistakes. Invest in an automated time clock system to save time and money while ensuring accurate and efficient payroll calculations. With the right tools and processes, you can focus on more strategic aspects of your business and watch your profits grow.

Try Out Chronotek Pro On Your Own Terms!

Experience the unprecedented control you can have over your workforce operations through our all-in-one app. If at any time you need help, we’re just a click or phone call away.