Should I take legal action?

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Should I take legal action?

For the past 4 or 5 years my company has been sending me and my coworkers to company required safety training once per year on a Friday, which is normally our day off, and hasn’t paid us for our

time at training. This training has lasted anywhere from 6 to 10 hours each time. Also, our yearly insurance meeting, which they said was mandatory to attend even if you declined the insurance, has been held offsite after work for around 2 hours and again not paid. Now they are trying to force CPR

class as well, held offsite after hours and not pay. Honestly I am just sick of being taken advantage of, not as concerned about backpay, even though I sure would love for the company to get what they deserve. I just want to know what kind of action I can take to present to my supervisor to end it

furthermore. I can’t afford an actual lawyer, it would be cheaper to just keep being taken advantage of. However, maybe some kind of legal documentation showing without argument that what they are doing is illegal, or someone I can report them to, maybe the labor board or something, to investigate and act on my co-workers and my behalf?

Asked on July 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Mandatory training time is considered to be work time and all work time is compensable. Further, if such time puts you over 40 hours in your work week, you are to be paid at the overtime rate. Finally, if this training, etc. is held off-site, you are also entitled to be paid for your travel time. The foregoing assumes that your are a "non-exempt" worker (i.e. typically, one who is paid hourly). If you are "exempt", then your salary covers all your work time, so you are not entitled to additional pay under the circmstances. Since money is an issue and you can't afford an attorney, you can still file a wage complaint with your the TX Department of Labor; it will investigate your claim. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You do have to be paid for mandatory training or meetings, even when offsite or not during normal work hours--that is, assuming you are hourly staff (if you are salaried, your weekly salary is your *total* compensation for all work done that week); if you are hourly, you are also owed overtime for any week in which you work more than 40 hours.
You can report to this the federal and/or state dept. of labor (e.g. the  state labor board) and they should investigate and take action for you. Documentation of the hours worked without pay would be helpful. You can potentially collect back pay for up to the last 2 years, plus have the employer be ordered to pay you going forward.


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