Can my employer decide not to pay employees for their attendance at a mandatory meeting?

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Can my employer decide not to pay employees for their attendance at a mandatory meeting?

I work for a non-profit organization and attended a mandatory staff meeting. The agency has now posted a memorandum stating that they are not paying employees due to “nothing being accomplished”. I am wondering if this is legal and why this would fall on me as an employee and not my direct supervisor who was in charge of the meeting.

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are an hourly employee, you must be paid for mandatory meetings--anything you are required to spend time doing for work is work time, and it does not matter whether anything was accomplished. If your employer feels you and your co-workers wasted time, it could demote, suspend, terminate, etc. you--but you still have to be paid for the meeting. Salaried staff do not need to be paid additional compensation for meetings, since their salary is compensation for all work or work time.


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