If you are going to have your employees out on the road meeting your clients in person, then it is crucial that you understand the legalities of the situation. Here are three legal problems that you need to deal with when it comes to employees traveling for your business:
Legal Issue #1: Compensating Your Employee for Hours Worked
Regarding work-related travel, you must compensate your employees. However, you must be able to clearly define work-related and travel hours. As a general rule, if your employee is traveling between customer locations or work sites during regular working hours, you would need to compensate him or her. If your employee is traveling out of town in a car, then you should compensate them for their travels behind the wheel.
Legal Issue #2: Insuring Your Employee and Your Business During Travel
As you are probably well aware, your business can be held liable for any acts performed by an employee, which includes those employee acts outside of the business office. Therefore, if you have an employee traveling for work and is "clocked-in," you may be held responsible for any intentional acts or accidents that occur and injure other individuals in the process.
In order minimize your risk in this type of situation, it is important that your business is protected with a commercial insurance policy. There are several forms of insurance policies that you can choose from, but you want to make sure that you get coverage for everything – liability, workers' compensation, auto, etc. – if your employees will be traveling frequently.
Legal Issue #3: Tracking Expenses and Reporting Taxes of Work-Related Employee Travel
As a business, you want to keep your costs to a bare minimum in order to maintain a profitable bottom line. Since traveling can be expensive, it makes sense that you would like to keep travel expenses as minimal as possible. You can put your employees through a small training program that will teach them how to bargain hunt. However, it is just as important for your business for them to also know how to keep track of their travel-related expenses. For one, you need to keep a meticulous record of expenses for accounting purposes. For another, many of those expenses will probably be eligible to be deducted from your taxes, which can help save your business money.
As your business grows, running it will only get more complicated. Work-related travel doesn't make things any easier. However, an employment attorney can help you deal with the legalities associated with employee travel as well as other legal issues that may crop up in the business world, so don't hesitate to have one on your side as you navigate the complex world of business. For more information, contact local professionals like Mohajerian A Professional Law Corporation.