Travel Pay: Handling it Correctly

On Demand Webinar

Webinar Details $219

  • Rated:
  • Webinar Length: 100 Minutes
  • Guest Speaker:   Vicki Lambert
  • Topic:   Human Resources, Taxation and Accounting
  • Credit:   HRCI 1.5, SHRM 1.5, ATAPR 1.5, CPE 2.0, ATAHR 1.5, ATATX 1.5, RCH 1.5
All Access Membership

This webinar discusses the rules and regulations that must be followed when paying an employee for travel pay. It includes what is travel pay, best practices for handling the payments, how it affects overtime calculations and what is required on the state level. It also discusses the requirements for taxing travel expenses under IRS rules.

How to compensate employees for the hours spent traveling on business is becoming one of the major concerns of the payroll department today.  Many recent changes in federal and state wage and hour rules as well as economic pressures on employers and employees alike can create a situation that can practically invite noncompliance lawsuits—especially if the travel time results in overtime being owed to the employee.

But it isn’t just the DOL that is interested in travel pay. The IRS also has strict regulations on when employees can be paid for travel expenses without it being considered wages. Does the company use the per diem method to reimburse employees or the accountable plan method?  Or do you even need to have a method when it comes to reimbursing employees for travel expenses?

Areas covered in this webinar:

Travel pay requirements—What you must pay for and why

Best practices for paying travel pay correctly 

Which employees have to be paid…and when

Payroll Compliance and travel pay issues—keeping wage and hour claims at bay

What to do when federal and state laws conflict and handling multiple state conflict issues

How travel pay affects overtime calculations—travel pay differences for exempt and non-exempt employees

Special circumstances that may require travel payment

What are per diems

When travel payments are taxable

Accountable and nonaccountable plans

Who can Benefit: 

Payroll Executives/Managers/Administrators/Professionals/Practitioners/Entry Level Personnel

Human Resources Executives/Managers/Administrators

Accounting Personnel

Business Owners/Executive Officers/Operations and Departmental Managers


Attorneys/Legal Professionals

Any individual or entity that must deal with the complexities and requirements of Payroll compliance issues

    1. Introduction
    2. Our Focus For Today 00:01:15
    3. Travel Pay Under Wage-Hour Laws 00:06:01
    4. Travel Pay Under FLSA 00:06:20
    5. Preliminaries 00:08:26
    6. Preliminaries Continued 00:10:21
    7. General Principles Involved 00:12:12
    8. And It Reads 00:15:32
    9. Thus 00:16:48
    10. However 00:17:50
    11. Home to Work Ordinary Situation 00:21:11
    12. Home to Work—Emergency Situations 00:25:51
    13. No We Don’t 00:27:41
    14. However 00:29Z:06
    15. Opinion Letters Are Useful Here 00:30:13
    16. Opinion Letters Are Useful Here Cont’d 00:32:06
    17. Opinion Letters Are Useful Here Cont’d 00:32:56
    18. Administrative Letter 00:33:14
    19. Non-Administrative Letter 00:33:40
    20. Field Operations Handbook (FOH) 00:34:15
    21. Field Operations Handbook -  Chapters 10-64 00:34:3:
    22. Home to Work on Special One-Day Assignments in Another City 00:36:25
    23. Special One Day Assignment 00:37:57
    24. DOL Would Say 00:40:03
    25. However 00:40:32
    26. Travel That’s All in a Day’s Work 00:43:30
    27. But if 00:45:48
    28. Travel Away From Home Community 00:47:01
    29. But What if Not Normal Working Hours? 00:49:12
    30. Enforcement Policy by DOL 00:49:35
    31. Example 00:49:49
    32. Traveling by Car 00:52:21
    33. Example 00:53:14
    34. Traveling and Working 00:54:33
    35. Overnight Travel 00:53:15
    36. Van Pool Drivers 00:54:33
    37. Vanpools 00:55:05
    38. Payroll Needs a Written Policy 00:57:07
    39. Yes, You Can Pay Differently 00:58:54
    40. Travel Pay and Overtime 01:00:25
    41. State Watch for Travel Pay 01:04:25
    42. California—But of Course 01:05:00
    43. California 01:05:43
    44. Example 01:06:13
    45. California - Ride Share 01:07:57
    46. California - Compulsory Travel Time 01:08:11
    47. Arkansas 01:09:09
    48. Iowa 01:09:31
    49. Other States - Colorado and New Jersey 01:10:05
    50. Other States -New York and Vermont 01:10:35
    51. Travel Pay by State 01:10:52
    52. Federal Taxation and Travel Pay 01:15:24
    53. Travel Pay Reimbursements Under The IRS 01:15:33
    54. Per Diems 01:16:13
    55. Per Diems -  Meals and Lodging 01:17:55
    56. 01:18:28
    57. Cont’d 01:18:41
    58. Auto Reimbursements 01:19:12
    59. - How To Search 01:20:25
    60. - Example 01:21:00
    61. Per Diem and Taxes 01:21:30
    62. Per Diem and Taxes - Business Report 01:22:50
    63. Mileage Per Diems 01:23:41
    64. Mileage Per Diems - FIT, FICA, and FUTA 01:24:53
    65. Accountable Plan Example 01:25:09
    66. Accountable Plan 01:26:44
    67. Nonaccountable Plan 01:26:53
    68. Payments are Under a Nonaccountable Plan if 01:27:08
    69. When Does Payroll Become Involved? 01:27:35
    70. Auto Allowances 01:28:08
    71. Business Use Personal Vehicle 01:28:59
    72. Nontaxable 01:30:20
    73. Business Use Personal Vehicle - Example 1 01:31:19
    74. Partly Taxable 01:32:56
    75. Business Use Personal Vehicle - Example 2 01:33:13
    76. Totally Taxable 01:34:26
    77. Final Questions 01:35:23
    78. Presentation Closing 01:49:37
    • Accountable Plan 01:15:51, 01:19:21, 01:22:15, 01:27:42
    • Audit 00:12:31, 00:52:20, 01:16:40
    • Department of Labor (DOL) 00:03:38, 00:06:07, 00:12:19, 00:22:35, 00:30:30, 00:34:25, 00:40:07, 00:49:33, 01:00:33, 01:16:52
    • Exempt 00:10:44, 00:11:07
    • Expense 00:17:56
    • Expense Report 01:22:28
    • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 00:03:40, 00:10:45, 00:12:57, 00:15:11, 00:30:38, 00:48:40
    • Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) 01:24:04, 01:26:09
    • Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) 01:24:05 01:26:09
    • Field Operations Handbook 00:34:18
    • Form W-2 01:24:09
    • Interstate Commerce 00:13:52
    • Minimum Wage 00:10:40, 00:14:24, 00:35:37, 00:59:00
    • Overtime 00:07:34, 00:10:40, 00:14:23, 01:00:48
    • Per Diem 01:15:44, 01:17:55, 01:22:56, 01:27:46
    • Portal-to-Portal Act 00:03:45, 00:13:05, 00:14:54
    • Travel Pay 00:01:33, 00:03:10, 00:04:43, 00:12:24, 00:15:41, 00:32:37, 00:35:26, 01:00:50, 01:16:09, 01:49:27
    • Wage 00:02:09, 00:04:36, 00:30:17, 01:22:08, 01:24:02, 01:27:23

    Accountable Plan: An accountable plan is a plan that follows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations for reimbursing workers for business expenses in which reimbursement is not counted as income. ... However, these expenses must be business-related to fall under an accountable plan.

    Audit: A formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation

    Department of Labor (DOL): The United States Department of Labor is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, reemployment services, and some economic statistics; many U.S. states also have such departments.

    Exempt : Exempt employee is a term that refers to a category of employees set out in the Fair Labor Standards Act. They do not receive overtime pay, nor do they qualify for the minimum wage

    Expense: Offset (an item of expenditure) as an expense against taxable income.

    Expense Reimbursement: Expense reimbursement is a method for paying employees back when they spend their own money on business-related expenses. These expenses generally occur when an employee is traveling for business but can occur in other work-related situations. (

    Expense Report: A report that tracks expenses incurred during the course of performing necessary job functions. Examples include charges for gas, meals, parking or lodging. If your employees spend a lot of money in cash, you need to make sure you have them list these expenditures on an expense report form.

    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 29 U.S.C. § 203 is a United States labor law that creates the right to a minimum wage, and "time-and-a-half" overtime pay when people work over forty hours a week. It also prohibits most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor".

    Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA): The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is a United States federal payroll contribution directed towards both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare—federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, people with disabilities, and children of deceased workers.

    Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA): The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) is a federal law that imposes an unemployment tax on employers. The FUTA tax funds the federal government's oversight of each state's unemployment program. Only employers pay FUTA tax. You must deposit the tax quarterly and file an annual form.

    Field Operations Handbook: The Field Operations Handbook (FOH) is an operations manual that provides Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigators and staff with interpretations of statutory provisions, procedures for conducting investigations, and general administrative guidance. The FOH was developed by the WHD under the general authority to administer laws that the agency is charged with enforcing. The FOH reflects policies established through changes in legislation, regulations, significant court decisions, and the decisions and opinions of the WHD Administrator. It is not used as a device for establishing interpretative policy.

    Form W-2: Form W-2 is an Internal Revenue Service tax form used in the United States to report wages paid to employees and the taxes withheld from them. Employers must complete a Form W-2 for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation as part of the employment relationship. - Wikipedia (

    Interstate Commerce: Interstate commerce is the general term for transacting or transportation of products, services, or money across state borders.

    Minimum Wage: The lowest wage paid or permitted to be paid specifically fixed by a legal authority or by contract as the least that may be paid either to employed persons generally or to a particular category of employed persons.

    Overtime: Overtime is time and a half of what an employee earns for every hour worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA salary threshold is the minimum salary employers must pay employees for them to be exempt from overtime wages.

    Per Diem: (Latin for "per day" or "for each day") or daily allowance is a specific amount of money an organization gives an individual, often an employee, per day to cover living expenses when traveling for work. - Wikipedia (

    Portal-to-Portal Act: An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) clarifying that certain activities are generally not compensable working time under the FLSA. The Portal-to-Portal Act provides that employers are not required to pay for the time employees spend on activities or traveling occurring before or after they perform the principal activities for which they are employed.

    Travel Pay: Travel Pay is payment for expenses employees spend traveling for work-related activities. This could include airfare, trainfare, gas and milegae, and meals.

    Wage: A fixed regular payment, typically paid on a daily or weekly basis, made by an employer to an employee, especially to a manual or unskilled worker.

    Guest Speaker

    • Vicki M. Lambert, CPP

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    RCH Credit

    American Payroll Association

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