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pay on observation day/training on first day of work - Pennsylvania

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  • pay on observation day/training on first day of work - Pennsylvania

    I was wondering if the following scenario is legal. It concerns the work/compensation of the first day of work for a canvassing organization (door to door fund raising).

    During the first day of work, the trainee is required to come in at 12:30, presumably having thoroughly familiarized themselves with the 1 minute long speech that the canvasses deliver door to door. From 12:30 to 2:30 or so, these new trainees hone their skills on delivering the speech to trainers (and are asked to practice with the other new trainees). Those who do not have the speech sufficiently memorized are asked to leave. Those that have it memorized well enough are sent out, with trainers, to a prescribed location to canvass. At this point (2:30), the company has already arranged that these trainees will be canvassing on their own for one hour of this day.

    Between 2:30-4, trainees are transported to the canvassing site, and also are given a 30 minute break for lunch. From 4 to 5:30, trainees follow their trainers door to door, and observe their trainers give the speech to those who come to the door. Then from 5:30 through 10, The trainees will alternate giving the speech with their trainers for an hour, canvass on their own for an hour, reobserve their trainer for 1.5 hours, and then travel back to the office and be briefed on the day.

    Currently, the trainee is only compensated (minimum wage) for his or her work from 5:30 to 10:00. Is this in compliance with currently Pennsylvania/federal guidelines? I assumed that the trainee should be compensated for all work (less 30 minute lunch break) from 12:30 onward - or at the very least, from 2:30 onward.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    This is absolutely in violation of FLSA. Standards define employment as "suffered or permitted to work" and all working time must be compensation. This training definitely falls within the "principle activity" of your organization.

    Your trainees need to be compensated for all of the time between 12:30-10:00 minus the 30 minute lunch break.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply! Can you (or anyone else) provide links to the specific federal guidelines? I've tried searching online and found some conflicting info on training pay requirements.

      Thanks again!

      PS How could I go about report such a violation if this indeed one?

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      • #4
        http://www.dol.gov:80/elaws/esa/flsa...screenEE16.asp

        Wage & hour complaints can be filed with your state DOL.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          Thanks very much for that link. However, this info still leaves me with some doubt on whether the training hours as specified below need to be compensated for. The provided link, while helpful, uses indefinite language, such as: "The following are some special situations where time spent attending lectures, training sessions or courses of instruction is not regarded as hours worked." and "Since you are required to attend the lecture, meeting, training or other similar activity, the time is probably hours worked."

          Is there anywhere where I can see the definitive guidelines (and all the exceptions) as related to this situation?

          PS I forgot to mention that the employer is a non profit organizaton.

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          • #6
            Trust me, these are hours worked. No one could say for sure aside from your state DOL if a wage claim was filed, but I'm extremely confident your company would lose were one filed.

            The reason the FLSA guidelines do not say definitively is probably because there are always special exceptions to rules and they don't want a website questionnire to hold them to anything. There are too many special circumstances for the DOL or any other entity to give extensive case by case examples.

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            • #7
              The link above is the FLSA info re hrs. worked re lectures, meetings &
              training programs. I'll post it again:
              http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/ho...screenEE16.asp

              I'll give you this additional info:
              Title 29 labor code 785.27 Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time if the following four criteria are met:

              (a) Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;

              (b) Attendance is in fact voluntary;

              (c) The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and

              (d) The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

              Also, how about this - it has a section on meetings, training & lectures:
              http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text....2.44.3.439.21 (It includes a sect. on spl. situation.)
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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              • #8
                If you still can't figure it out or want to be positive, contact your state's DOL.
                That's all I can give you - what I posted above.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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