Being payed for attending mandatory training

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Being payed for attending mandatory training

I am attending a mandatory 2 week training session. I was told if I did not attend the training I would lose my job. My employer is only paying me 10.50 per hr. when I actually make 14.60 per hour. Is this legal? Also I was told I would receive mileage,than they decided they will not pay mileage. I have to travel approx.80 miles per day to attend training. They have also scheduled these mandatory training sessions when kids are out for summer recess. I work at a school. Are they abiding by the law?

Asked on August 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless paying you a lower rate of pay violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it is legal. A company can set the rate of wage for different functions as it sees fit. In fact, in an "at will" work relationship, an employer can set the conditions of work much as it deems appropriate (absent any form of legally actionable discrimination). Therefore, reducing your pay for time spent at a mandatory meeting is legal, so long as minimum wage laws are complied with. The same holds true as to when such training is scheduled. Finally, as for paying you mileage, again it is up to your employer's discretion. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They are being unfair and sleazy, but, unfortunately, everything they are doing is legal.
1) Employer's may pay employees different (e.g. lower) rates for different functions, tasks, activities, etc., so they can pay you a lower rate for the training.
2) You can be terminated for missing training, so you can be forced to accept the lower rate on pain of termination.
3) An employer never needs to pay mileage; it is voluntary on their part if they do. (You should keep track of your mileage; you may be able to get a tax deduction for it, however.)
4) The employer can schedule the training (or work generally) whenever the employer wants, including during summer recess.


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