When paid hourly by a school district, can they make you view videos for school policies on our own time?

Viewing hours of videos pertaining to school related issues, such as sexual harassment, copyright laws, etc.

Asked on August 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employer can require that an employee perform work duties of off work premises, even at their own home. However, if viewing these vidoes is mandatory (i.e. you must) and not voluntary (it's your choice), then anytime watching them is "compensable work time". In other words, you must be paid for it. Additionally, to the extent that you are a "non-exempt" employee (and typically hourly workers are), then you are entitled to be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can make you view the videos not during normal working hours (e.g. in the evening, on weekends, etc.), *but* they have to pay you for watching them, if you are (as you indicate) hourly and the videos are mandatory (e.g. it's not that it's a good idea to watch them, because it will help you at work or help you get a promotion, but you can refuse to watch if you choose--rather, you *must* watch them). Anything that the employer requires you to do for its benefit, including watching training videos, is work, regardless of when you have to do it or the location (e.g. at home or offsite); hourly employees must be paid for all hours worked. 

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