Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees who “suffer or [are] permitted to work” for the benefit of their employer must be compensated for such time. This includes time attending meetings and training programs which are for the benefit of an employer.
Training time and meeting time are compensable when they occur during the employee’s shift or it is required by the employer. However, training and meeting time is not compensable when all four of the following factors are satisfied: (a) attendance is outside of the employee’s scheduled working hours; (b) attendance is voluntary; (c) the subject matter of the training or meeting is unrelated to the job the employee performs for the employer; and (d) the employee does not perform productive work while attending the meeting or training.
While the first and fourth factors are fairly self-explanatory, the second and third factors usually require the most clarification.
Regarding the second factor, attendance is “voluntary” if there are no adverse consequences, such as discharge, discipline or demotion, if the employee does not attend the meeting or training. In contrast, if there are any adverse consequences for the employee’s non-attendance at a training session or meeting, then attendance is not voluntary, and the employee is to be compensated.
Regarding the third factor, if the meeting or training session is intended to enhance the employee’s ability to perform his duties in his current job, the time spent in the training or meeting is compensable. In some cases, however, where training is intended to prepare the employee for a different job, the training is not considered directly related to the employee’s job, and is not compensable.
If you are uncertain whether meeting or training time is compensable, please contact the Shavitz Law Group for a free consultation 800-616-4000 or [email protected]