If I just got hired and found out my first 3 shifts are not paid because I’m being “trained”, is that legal?

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If I just got hired and found out my first 3 shifts are not paid because I’m being “trained”, is that legal?

I just got hired at a restaurant and am not being paid for my first 3 shifts. I am following another employee around but am waiting on a few tables, answering the phone, and taking orders. Is this allowed?

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This does not appear to be legal. "Work" time is not necessarily productive time--anything you are required to do by the employer constitutes work. Being trained, if the employer requires it (as opposed to some sort of optional or voluntary training you choose to do, to help your career) is work time, and hourly employees must be paid for it. If the employer refuses to pay, you would most likely have to sue for the money, however, though it's possible your state department of labor would help if you filed a complaint.


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