Can I refuse to attend a mandatory meeting on my off time if I’m not getting paid?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I refuse to attend a mandatory meeting on my off time if I’m not getting paid?

I have a mandatory meeting to attend and when I told my employer who has a discrimination charge against her that I won’t attend unless I’m being paid, she will not respond. Do I have the right to refuse

to attend for lack of compensation?

Asked on January 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that employees must be paid for all work related activities/duties and this includes mandatory meetings. If you are not properly compensated for attending such a mandatory meeting you can sue your employer is small claims court and/or file a wage claim with your state's department of labor. However, if you do not attend this meeting, then you can be terminated. In fact, in an "at will" work relationship you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. That is unless you have protection here under the terms of a union agreement/employment contract or your treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination.

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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