Travel Time Compensation Guidelines

Non-exempt Employees (Unclassified, Classified, and Student Employees) and Exempt Classified Employees

Compensation for non-exempt employees who travel on UO business follows state law and federal law and for classified employees, the requirements of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA). 

Prior to sending a non-exempt employee on business travel, the responsible manager should meet with the employee to discuss how his or her hours should be recorded, what hours are compensable, and what records should be kept.

Whether employers must compensate non-exempt employees for travel time depends largely on the type of travel involved.     OAR 839-020-0045

Wage and hour rules define four basic categories of employee travel.  The table below describes when employers must pay travel time based on category:

Category Definition Compensable travel time?
Portal-to-portal                                 Normal home-to-work / work-to-home travel at the beginning and end of one work day.                                                      No
Travel between worksites Travel in the course of a day´s work from one job site to another. Yes
Special one-day assignment

Employee is sent on a one-day assignment to a city more than 30 miles from the employee´s fixed official work station.  

Overnight travel Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight. 

Yes, if travel cuts across an employee´s regular work hours (applies seven days per week).

No, if the employee is a passenger and/or travel falls outside of regular work hours.

Travel time must be paid whenever driving is required.                                                                 

Additional Information about Overnight Travel

  • On overnight trips, all the time an employee spends traveling during normal work hours must be compensated -- even on weekends.  UO does not compensate for travel time that falls outside of the employee´s regular work hours, except when the employee is required to drive.  If travel occurs on weekends, the employee may be eligible for shift differential.
  • Driving is always work when an employee travels on university business.
  • An employee who normally works a shift other than normal business hours shall be changed to an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. shift the during the business travel.  The changing of the work shift for a classified employee requires the proper notification of shift change of at least 5 days.  If the 5 day notice is not given, the employee is entitled to penalty pay of $21.00. (Refer to the SEIU CBA)
  • The time an employee spends at an airport before their flight leaves (2 hours is a reasonable amount of time) and during any layovers is considered travel time and is compensated if it crosses their normal work hours, including weekends or other days off.
  • Non-exempt employees may accrue overtime during periods of business travel.
  • Employees who travel on UO business are compensated for all the time they work.  When attending conferences, this will include meeting sessions and presentations by speakers.  Employees shall not be paid for social activities, tours, personal vacation time, or leisure time spent in hotel rooms.  If there is an employer expectation that a dinner or evening social sponsored by the conference host is attended by the employee, this is then compensable time. If non-compensable social activities or personal time occurs during the work day, the employee shall use appropriate leave (vacation, personal leave, comp time).  It is important to specify before the conference what activities the employees are required to attend so it is clear what hours are compensable.
  • The Education, Training, and Development in the SEIU agreement specifies that employees shall be released from other duties without loss of pay or other benefits and will be reimbursed for travel and per diem at prevailing rates and for tuition and material costs.  If the application of BOLI calculations to determine pay causes the employee to lose pay they would have earned if not traveling on business, please consult HR.  The employee should not lose pay.