Q & A Session – TDY and Travel Time


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


When an employee is in TDY status, should the employee be paid for the travel time he or she in a government vehicle if it is outside of normal working hours? If an employee has a start time of 6:00 a.m. are they required to report to the vessel at 6 a.m. or start travel to the vessel at 6 a.m.?


As addressed in our article “TDY and Comp. Time: What Are the Rules?” a federal employee is entitled to compensatory time for travel beyond their official duty station, occurring outside their normal duty hours.

For purposes of compensatory time, an employee’s official duty station is a reasonable geographic area surrounding the work site, as designated by the agency, but not to exceed a mileage radius of 50 miles.  As such, just because you are on a “TDY,” or temporary detail assignment, does not necessarily mean that you are on a travel status away from your official duty station.  If you are not beyond your official duty station, then you are not entitled to compensatory time for travel.

Regarding your second question, since your tour of duty begins at 6:00am, you are required to be at the work site at 6:00am, but may be entitled to compensatory time for your travel to/from the worksite, depending whether or not you are in a travel status. For more a more detailed explanation, please see our article titled, “TDY and Comp. Time: What Are the Rules?” for more information regarding your question.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

1 Comment

  1. Henry Barber on

    The response failed to mention OT for non-exempt employees. the employee has the right to choose OT or comp time, not the agency. One issue is whether any official work was performed during travel. Example: driving the car to and from the work site is considered work, but being a passenger may not be. However, if the travel time is used to prepare for the day’s activities, even the passenger(s) can be considered as working. Under some contracts it is the employee’s decision alone whether to travel outside regular duty hours.

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