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Dept of Labor Publishes Opinion Letters Regarding Employee Travel & Training

employee training

1.5 minute read

The Department of Labor published two opinion letters regarding how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to employee pay relating to employee training or work travel.

Voluntary Training Programs

The FLSA says that employers must compensate employees for all hours of work, but it doesn’t define what qualifies as work. The Supreme Court says employees should be compensated for any time that “is spent predominantly for the employer’s benefit.”

The first opinion letter (FLSA2020-15) contains six different scenarios about how DOL regulations apply to situations involving voluntary training during and outside working hours.


Non-Exempt Employees Travel Time

Employers must compensate their employees for any time they are “suffered or permitted to work.” This may include time for walking, traveling, or riding if it is related to the employee’s principal duties. However, an employee’s commute to and from work is not usually compensable.

The second opinion letter (FLSA2020-16) addresses three different scenarios where employees are required to travel to complete their work assignments.

Employers should review the scenarios discussed in both opinion letters and determine if the new guidance affects their current employee classification and payroll practices.

Download the bulletin for more details.

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Rick Labian

Rick Labian

Rick Labian lives by the Golden Rule – he is guided by what is best for his clients and treats others as he would like to be treated. Rick acts as an advisor and advocate for his clients, helping to identify goals for their benefit programs and building a strategic plan together. Rick has a rich history with NIS. He has worked for NIS for over 20 years, leading the Eastern region. Rick is the manager and leads the FBC Client Management Team. Rick’s leadership and experience aids our internal staff and all of NIS’ FBC clients. Rick is a licensed insurance agent and is ACA certified through the National Association of Health Underwriters.