Employee Meetings and Training: Paid or Unpaid?

Meetings and trainings are an essential part of employee growth and success. Meetings, programs, lectures, seminars, webinars, etc. can all help with an employee’s career development. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to compensate employees for all hours worked. However, employers don’t always follow those rules and quickly can find themselves in a heap of trouble.

According to the FLSA, time employees spend in trainings, meetings or lectures is only considered noncompensable if it meets four requirements:

  1. The training, meeting or lecture occurs outside of the employee’s normal working hours.
  2. Attendance is voluntary.
  3. The training, meeting or lecture isn’t job related.
  4. The employee isn’t doing any other work at the same time.

Employees must be paid for their time if these criteria aren’t met.

We highly recommend consistently evaluating your policies and practices regarding your meeting and training sessions to ensure you are compliant with FLSA rules.

If you are uncertain whether meeting, lecture, or training time should be compensated, it may be worth consulting with an attorney who specializes in employment law to avoid or limit liability.