Is there a law that states an employee must get paid for training?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2014

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Is there a law that states an employee must get paid for training?

If so, what is it? I worked a week of “training” equivalent to 57 hours. I say “training” because they, the owners, would leave me in the store alone for long periods of time. Often the whole day with no word from them at all. I did everything I was told, opened the store at the proper hour and closed as I was supposed to. Now come time to get paid they said. The first week is free right? I did not work for free, nor did I sign any document stating I would work for free. They have not so much as gotten my social security number or anything of that sort. I told them I did not work for free and they said we will talk about it later. What should I do?

Asked on September 1, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the first week is NOT free; if you actually did work for them, as it appears you did (e.g. opening and closing the store; minding or monitoring the store), you must be paid for the work at minimum wage or better. Indeed, working 57 hours means you should have gotten 17 hours at overtime rates. If they will not pay you voluntarily, you could file a complaint with your state department of labor or sue them (such as in small claims court) for the money.

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