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.
I have a question regarding travel time between two locations. As a NAF employee for the Army, I sometimes am asked to attend a meeting in another location, about 30 minutes away from where I normally work. After the meeting, I am required to drive to my normal duty station and finish out my day. All this driving is done in my personal vehicle. Am I supposed to be compensated for the time I travel between where I am required to go for meetings and my regular duty station?
If the travel occurs during your normal work day, you are entitled to only your salary, not compensatory time. However, if you are required to travel away from your official duty station outside of your normal duty hours, you are entitled to compensatory time off only. See 5 U.S.C. 5550(b); see also 5 C.F.R. 550.1404(c). Note that an employee’s “official duty station” is defined as a reasonable geographic area surrounding the worksite, as designated by the agency. See 5 C.F.R. 550.1403. When designating the geographic area surrounding an employee’s regular worksite that shall constitute an employee’s “official duty station,” the agency “may prescribe a mileage radius of not greater than 50 miles to determine whether an employee’s travel is within or outside the limits of the employee’s official duty station for determining entitlement to overtime pay for travel.” 5 C.F.R. 550.112(j). Thus, if you are required to travel outside of your normal duty hours, you should inquire with your management to determine whether you are traveling outside the geographical area the agency identified as your “official duty station.”
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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