29 CFR 790.5 - Effect of Portal-to-Portal Act on determination of hours worked.
(a) In the application of the minimum wage and overtime compensation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act to activities of employees on or after May 14, 1947, the determination of hours worked is affected by the Portal Act only to the extent stated in section 4(d). This section requires that:
. . . in determining the time for which an employer employs an employee with respect to walking, riding, traveling or other preliminary or postliminary activities described (in section 4(a)) there shall be counted all that time, but only that time, during which the employee engages in any such activity which is compensable (under contract, custom, or practice within the meaning of section 4 (b), (c)). 26
26 The full text of section 4 of the Act is set forth in § 790.3.
27 See § 709.6. Section 4(d) makes plain that subsections (b) and (c) of section 4 likewise apply only to such activities.
28 Conference Report, p. 13.
29 See footnote 18.
30 See Conference Report, pp. 10, 13.
31 Conference Report, p. 10.
(b) The operation of section 4(d) may be illustrated by the common situation of underground miners who spend time in traveling between the portal of the mine and the working face at the beginning and end of each workday. Before enactment of the Portal Act, time thus spent constituted hours worked. Under the law as changed by the Portal Act, if there is a contract between the employer and the miners calling for payment for all or a part of this travel, or if there is a custom or practice to the same effect of the kind described in section 4, the employer is still required to count as hours worked, for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, all of the time spent in the travel which is so made compensable. 32 But if there is no such contract, custom, or practice, such time will be excluded in computing worktime for purposes of the Act. And under the provisions of section 4(c) of the Portal Act, 33 if a contract, custom, or practice of the kind described makes such travel compensable only during the portion of the day before the miners arrive at the working face and not during the portion of the day when they return from the working face to the portal of the mine, the only time spent in such travel which the employer is required to count as hours worked will be the time spent in traveling from the portal to the working face at the beginning of the workday.
32 Cf. colloquies between Senators Donnell and Hawkes, 93 Cong. Rec. 2179, 2181, 2182; colloquy between Senators Ellender and Cooper, 83 Cong. Rec. 2296-2297; colloquy between Senators McGrath and Cooper, 93 Cong. Rec. 2297-2298. See also Senate Report, p. 48.
33 See § 790.3 and Conference Report pp. 12, 13. See also Senate Report, p. 48.