Does an employee have to pay for a company mandated certification?

I work at in the fitness industry and my company is requiring that all employees obtain CPR certification. It is not a state mandated requirement. Are we as the

employees responsible for paying for the course and giving up our own time to

attend the class?

Asked on August 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Since the class is mandatory and is job-related, it must be considered as work time and, therefore, it must be paid. In order for time spent at training not to be considered work time (and, therefore, not compensated), it must meet the following 4 requirements: attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours, the employee must not do any productive work while attending and the training should not be directly related to the employee's job (it is considered as directly related if it helps the worker in handling their present job better), and it must be voluntary. That having been said, the employee can be made to pay for such training unless the terms of an employment contract or union agreement provide otherwise, although the cost of it can be deducted from the employee's taxes.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to give up your time for the class and pay for the class and certification. Remember: employment in this country is "employment at will." You have no right to or guaranty of a job, and an employer may put any conditions on working that it likes. It can require that you have at you own expense certain certifications or training and suspend or terminate you for not doing so.

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