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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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