From the Hotline: Company Vehicles and Fuel Expenses

Question: Can we require employees who take a company vehicle home to fuel vehicles up prior to the next day’s work shift?

Answer: An employer may have a policy requiring employees, who are allowed to take company vehicles home to refuel vehicles prior to the next day’s work shift. However, employers should note that the time spent refueling may be considered compensable time for nonexempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and most state wage and hour laws. Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. §§ 785.24 and 785.34, if the refueling is found to be integral to the employee’s principal activity, the time spent refueling will be deemed compensable. Activities included as an integral part of a principal activity are those closely related activities which are indispensable to the principal activity’s performance.

On the other hand, if the refueling is found to be incidental to the employee’s principal activity, the time spent refueling will not be deemed compensable unless the refueling is defined as compensable by contract, custom, or practice.

Resource: 29 C.F.R. Part 785