Employers are required to pay employees for study time when they mandate that employees to engage in certain learning activities for the employer’s benefit. Here are several examples of scenarios where studying would likely be considered compensable:
1. Mandatory Training Programs:
· If an employer mandates attendance at training programs, workshops, or seminars outside regular working hours, the time spent in these activities is generally considered compensable.
· Scenario: A business introduces a new software system for tax preparation. All non-exempt employees are required to attend a weekend training program to learn the ins and outs of the new system. The time spent in this mandatory training program is compensable.
2. Online Courses or Webinars:
· When an employer requires employees to complete online courses or attend webinars as part of their job responsibilities, the time spent on these activities is likely compensable.
· Scenario: A marketing company requires its staff to enroll in online courses on digital marketing trends. The time spent attending these courses during evenings or weekends, as mandated by the employer, is likely compensable.
3. Job-Specific Certifications:
· Some jobs may require employees to obtain specific certifications or licenses following their hire. Time spent studying for and taking exams related to these certifications, especially if mandated by the employer, may be considered compensable.
· Scenario: A healthcare institution mandates that staff obtain a specialized certification for handling new medical equipment. The time spent studying for the certification, including attending preparation courses, is compensable.
5. Product or Service Training:
· For employees involved in sales or customer service, studying product or service materials to enhance their knowledge and performance may be compensable, especially if the employer requires it.
· Scenario: A salesperson at a technology company is required to attend a training session on the features and benefits of a new product. The time spent in this training session, even if it occurs outside regular working hours, is compensable.
7. Orientation or Onboarding Programs:
· The time spent by new hires in orientation or onboarding programs, including reviewing company policies and procedures, can be compensable if it occurs outside regular working hours.
· Scenario: A new employee is required to attend an extensive onboarding program that includes learning about company values, policies, and procedures. The time spent in this onboarding program, whether during or after regular working hours, is compensable.
In all these scenarios, the key factor is that the employer mandates or requires the employee to engage in these activities for the benefit of the company. If it’s a voluntary initiative by the employee for personal development, it may not be considered compensable time.
If you have questions regarding overtime or your employment, please contact Shavitz Law Group at [email protected].