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Direct Care Pay Requirements for Travel Time

In the home care industry, federal regulations dictate what employers are required to pay for and what they are not. While employers are not required to pay for meal breaks, personal time and exempted sleep time, they do need to pay for certain kinds of travel.

When Do Direct Care Agencies Have To Pay for Travel Time?

When an employee travels between homes of two different clients back to back, an employer must pay for these travel expenses. If an employee drives a patient to medical services, appointments or basic errands, this is considered work time and must also be paid. Commuting to work from home and vice versa is not considered paid travel time. Long-distance travel in which the direct care worker accompanies a client on a trip may or may not require compensation, depending on whether the care worker is actively on duty.

Keeping Track of Paid Travel Time

Since travel time requires compensation, you have to track it accurately to avoid audits and penalties. Both time and mileage need to be monitored in order to provide accurate readings and compensation. GPS monitoring can prevent fraud during paid travel time, and mileage tracking helps the direct care worker deduct eligible work travel from their taxes.  

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