What to do about work time that I receive no compensation for?

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What to do about work time that I receive no compensation for?

I am an occupational therapist. I work (full-time) for a long term care rehab facility. There are approximately 30 full time therapists working there. The facility is opening up a cardiac wing. They want us to attend a Cardiac Rehab Continuing Education course that is being paid for (course fee) and held at this facility. Normally I work Monday through Friday, 40 hour work week. They are having the course on a Sunday, in which we will be paid our normal hourly wage. Then on Monday, we will be working until noon, treating patients at our normal hourly wage. Then they want us to clock out at noon and continue to take the remainder of the course we were taking that Sunday before with being still off the clock – no pay for 6 hours.

Asked on December 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Mandatory training (as opposed to courses or certifications an employee seeks  voluntarily, even with company support, in order to help his/her career) required by the employer is work time; hourly employees should be paid for it.

Training which is not mandatory, in that you could refuse to go if you choose, is not work time, however, even if the company supports or encourages you to go, and no compensation is necessary.

Training required  not by the employer but by your profession (e.g. as a lawyer, I have to take 24 continuing eduction hours every two years) is also not something for which you must be paid or compensated.

Note that even if the company should be paying you (i.e. this is company-mandated training), if they won't pay voluntarily, you'd need to file a complaint with the labor department or bring a lawsuit to get the money; you would need to decide if, on the whole, it is worthwhile doing that.


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