Can a director dock us for not attending a free class?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a director dock us for not attending a free class?

I work in a small childcare center. My director signed several of us up for a

free class. A few of us were unable to attend and told her; I didn’t because I

got up that morning sick. She sent us a message that we would be docked $20.

They did not provide transportation and I am unsure that we were supposed to get paid.

Asked on September 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If it was during work and made mandatory (even if free), it could be treated as work; if you missed the class, then like missing work, they could refuse to pay you for the time you were not there.
But if they were not going to pay you your hourly wages for attending (i.e. treating it as work), then they cannot dock any wages. And there is no basis to dock you any other amount, unless you agreed in advance to be docket money if you did not attend. (Other than not paying employee when they don't show to work, employers cannot reduce their pay without employee consent/agreement or a court order).
This may therefore be illegal. Whether it is worth taking legal action over $20, however, is a different story; sometimes, for small wrongs, there is no cost-effective way to address them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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