Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include Massachusetts non-exempt staff only. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. 

This policy addresses the compensability of required work-related travel for non-exempt staff employees in accordance with applicable state and federal law.

Policy Guidelines

Emerson compensates non-exempt staff employees for travel time in accordance with applicable state and federal law. Travel time that is considered working time will be paid at non-exempt staff employees’ regular hourly rates and will be factored into overtime calculations. Regular meal breaks are not considered working time in any of the situations described below. Non-exempt staff employees must take a thirty (30) minute unpaid meal break if they work six (6) hours in a workday.


This policy applies to all non-exempt staff employees.

Commuting Time

Ordinary travel time between home and work, before and after the regular workday commuting time, is not treated as working time.

Travel During Regular Working Time

The College will compensate non-exempt staff employees for (a) travel time in excess of their ordinary travel time between home and work, and (b) associated transportation expenses. For example, this means that if non-exempt staff employees must travel from their regular work site to another work site during regular working hours, the College considers that working time and will compensate non-exempt staff employees for time worked and transportation expenses.

Travel on a Special One-Day Assignment

If non-exempt staff employees must report to a specified location (i.e., airport, train station, etc.) in order to take transportation to an alternative work site, the College will begin calculating the compensable working time when non-exempt staff employees report to the specified location.  Working time includes subsequent travel to and from the alternative work site.

Travel Away from Home Overnight

Travel that keeps non-exempt staff employees away from home overnight is designated as “travel away from home.” Travel away from home is a compensable working time when it cuts across non-exempt staff employees’ regular workdays and regular working hours. Travel away from home is also a compensable working time when it cuts across corresponding working hours on nonworking days.  For example, if an employee regularly works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, travel time during these time periods on Saturday and Sunday is also considered a compensable working time. If the employee travels during non-work hours, either during regular workdays or during corresponding nonworking days, then the time is not paid and is considered travel outside of regular working hours. Travel time spent as a driver, as opposed to a passenger, is treated as working time, regardless of whether the travel is within or outside of regular working hours.

Work Performed While Traveling

If non-exempt staff employees are required to perform work while traveling, such time will be deemed working time even if it is performed outside of regular working hours.

Recording Travel Time

Non-exempt staff employees shall record travel time in the same manner as they record non-travel time. Managers must approve all time sheets and all overtime must be pre-approved.

Employees are responsible for accurately documenting and recording their time worked on their time sheets. The College takes fraudulent entries seriously. The College may take corrective action, up to and including termination, when employees make or managers knowingly or negligently approve fraudulent time entries.

Other Information

Related Policies

Not applicable

Key Offices to Contact 

Please contact Human Resources for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.       

Links to Procedures or Forms

Not applicable.


Non-Exempt: Non-exempt employee refers to a category of employees entitled to overtime pay as described in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Non-exempt employees must be paid for each hour they work and 1.5 times their hourly wage for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 


The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment.  This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.


Policy Effective Date:  May 2019