If Iwas recently hired for a job and given training hours but fired after 2 days, do I get paid for my training time?

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If Iwas recently hired for a job and given training hours but fired after 2 days, do I get paid for my training time?

I was told it would be a “trial period” of 2 weeks, but then I was fired after just 2 days of training (while being told I was doing well). The person who hired me didn’t take any of my information either, other than name and phone, so I doubt I will receive payment. Do I have any legal action I can take against them? Not only does it seem unfair I was fired so quickly but also it seems sort of as if they were planning on firing me from the beginning, and I am not being paid for my time.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) "Fair" is, unfortunately, irrelevant; someone could legally be fired as their foot is first stepping inside the office for the first time, for example, as long as doing so is not based on illegal discrimination (e.g. race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability) or is not in contravention of an employment agreeemnt or contract of some kind.

1a) Not only can someone be fired at any time (e.g. w/in 2 days) but even "good" employees can be fired--companies don't need to be fair or even logical.

2) However, training is work. Employees must be paid for all work time. IF there was an employment agreement to the effect that the first X days or weeks were unpaid training and you agreed to that, they would not have to pay you for that; otherwise, if you worked--even if the "work" you were assigned was being trained--you need to be paid for your time. So the key issue is what was meant and what did you agree to, including orally (often mistakenly called verbally) in terms fo a "trial period." If you understood you would not be paid for it, then you would not be paid; but if there was not such understanding, they may well owe you for the 2 days.


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