Q: Are we required to pay a non-exempt employee for time spent traveling to a cancelled meeting, even though he was notified of the cancellation in advance?
A: Wage and hour law requires that employees are paid for all time that they are "suffered or permitted" to work. Since the employee had been previously notified of the cancellation and had not actually performed any work, you could likely make the case that it should not be counted as working time. However, given the small amount of time and the fact that there is some risk the employee could claim he was working, many employers would choose to go ahead and pay the employee for the 25 minutes as he was making an effort to do work. In cases like this, it's simply not worth risking a wage claim.
We do recommend that you talk with him about remembering to double check his schedule before he clocks in and drives to any secondary locations. If this forgetfulness has been a repeated pattern, you might consider whether formal disciplinary action is appropriate.
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