Should I be compensated for training?

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Should I be compensated for training?

I work as a security guard at a hospital. I am employed through the security company who has a contract with the hospital where I am located for my shifts. I was told that I had to attend mandatory training for non-violent crisis intervention about 3 weeks ago. This training was 7 am-3 pm and not during work hours. I was told that I had to take a day off of college to attend this training or I would have lost my job. My normal shift is 7 am-7 pm, just not on days I have school. The training was interactive. We first listened to a lecture, then did a skit on verbally de-escalation, and ended the training with physical moves for restraints of a patient. I received my paycheck but was not paid for my attendance. I spoke to my supervisor who contacted our direct boss and he said that we won’t be paid for the training. Is it the security companies legal obligation to pay employees for this training or not because they are a private business? We are paid through the security company and not the hospital, the hospital employees who attended were paid for going. Why wasn’t I or the guards?

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As an hourly employee, whoever issues your paycheck, must pay you for all time that you work, since work time is compensable. And the mandatory classes as you describe would qualify. Further, if you had to travel for this crisis intervention training offsite, your travel time must be paid as well. The only time training is not be compensable is if: attendance is voluntary; it takes place outside of regular working hours; it is not job-related; and the employee does not perform any work during the training.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you need to be paid if it was mandatory training--whoever writes your paycheck should pay. Mandatory training--training required by your employer (whether directly by them for their own benefit, or because one of their clients wants it)--is work time, because is it something your employer requires you to do for for your employment. (Voluntary training--such as if you choose to get some training or certifiction to make your more valuable in the employment market--is not something that an employer must pay for.) That's the law; as a practical matter, to get the money, you'd have to file a complaint with the department of labor or sue, and while in theory, the employer can't retaliate against you for vindicating your rights, there are, unfortunately, many more-subtle things they can do against you, such as not accommodating you about shifts, days off, etc., or passing you over for a raise or promotion. Before taking action, consider whether damaging your relationship with your employer over 8 hours of pay is worth doing.


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