Can an employer require mandatory training without pay on an exempt employee’s personal time?

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Can an employer require mandatory training without pay on an exempt employee’s personal time?

All the employees in our office are exempt employees, not salaried or hourly. For every hour we charge to a task, we are compensated via an hourly rate. We are not guaranteed a fixed weekly pay unless we bill our task or charge off to our fixed amount of personal time for the 40 hour work week. Our employer requires us to take mandatory training after working hours, during our personal time without compensation. The training is not related to our work for our task, it is for the company’s ethics and sexual harassment polices, etc.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sexual harassment training and ethics training are requirements nowadays in most office environments; however, your employer cannot mandate you take personal time for that training. Secondly, I am unsure by what you mean by exempt employees but usually exempt employees means they are salaried, not hourly. If you are a W-2 employee, you should be salaried or hourly. If you are not a W-2 employee, then you are considered an independent contractor and you actually may not have to be subject to this training or you can charge for it. Talk to your state department of labor on the mandates or rules concerning such training. You might be surprised about the response.


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