Is it legal to require training without compensation?

As a contract employee I was required to complete 40 hours of mandatory training for a new software program without pay. The employer stated that if I did not complete the training my contract would not extend into the new year.

Asked on November 6, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If an employee is paid their wage hourly, they are required by their employer to take the training and it has no use for anything else in their life, then it is considered to be compensable work time. This means that their employer has to pay the employee for it. 
Further, to the extent that it puts the employee into overtime, then it has to be paid as O/T (assuming the employee is non-exempt). Finally, if the training is being conducted in an off-site location, the employee should also be paid for their travel time.


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