An advance decision was requested concerning the entitlement of two federal employees to overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act for travel on nonworkdays to and from a training assignment. The two employees, who were nonexempt under the act, traveled from their homes to a temporary duty assignment using a privately owned vehicle since it was advantageous to the government. The travel authorizations stated that the travel should commence on a Sunday, and the employees returned on a Saturday. Both employees claimed 6 hours overtime for both days of travel. One employee traveled from her home to the other employee's home, and then both traveled together to their temporary duty site and back. The accounting officer stated that the overtime was justified by the approving official, but questioned the approval because there was no indication that a performance of work was required while traveling or that the agency could not possibly have scheduled the temporary duty assignment to allow travel during regular duty hours. The employees were covered by the overtime provisions of federal regulations and the Fair Labor Standards Act. There was no question that the agency authorized the travel on a Sunday and did not direct the employees to return on a day other than a Saturday. Where an agency allows an employee to schedule travel on a nonworkday, the agency may not subsequently defeat the employee's entitlement to overtime compensation. Therefore, the employees were entitled to credit of travel time as hours worked under the act for the hours in which they were drivers, and bone fide meal periods should be deducted from the hours of work. If it is found that any hours for the time spent traveling exceeded 40 hours in a week for either employee, the employee should be paid overtime for such travel time under the act.
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