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Thread: Training - Paid or unpaid Maryland

  1. #1

    Default Training - Paid or unpaid Maryland

    First I already know that MD s law mirrors the Feds. It basically states that if one is required to attend a meeting/event to keep ones job then time at said meeting/event is paid time. Should that be strictly the hourly or should that also include other benefits we acrue as we work? Sick Leave, Health and Welfare, Uniform care allowance? Things of that nature.

    I was told by a colleague that he read the laws had changed in the last 3 years or so and how it goes that if said required training can be utilized on another job. i.e. First Aid/CPR. Then that training can be unpaid but if said training is soley for the ones specific job that is offering the training that time must be paid time. Is that accurate? I'm not so sure. Becuase the training I recieve at my site can move with me and be used on any other job site of the same field. For example weapons training at my current job in Rockville can be put to use at another job were I might carry a weapon. To me his explanation is not logical because any training offered is obviously important for one to do ones job that offers that trainning.

    Did I confuse you. LOL.

    P.S. I also realize that An employer does not necessarily have to pay the as yet hired person. Only the person who is already emplyed must recieve paid training.
    Last edited by pjanak; 09-26-2011 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Addition

  2. #2
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    Talking about federal law only (FLSA), there are very specific federal regulations (29 CFR 785.xxx) which define just what are hours worked. Several of those regulations discuss meetings and training. The following factsheet is a good "short version" of the hours worked rules. The training rules have NOT changed in the last 3 years. There is a long time exception that if the training is mandated by the government then it is probably not hours worked. Past that, assume that the following DOL factsheet knows what it is talking about.
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf

    Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs: Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time only if four criteria are met, namely: it is outside normal hours, it is voluntary, not job related, and no other work is concurrently performed.
    None of the other "benefits" you mention have anything to do with "hours worked" or the FLSA regulations on hours worked. So there is no legal linkage between the items you mention. Every single one of them needs to be addressed seperately.
    - The feds do not care (much) about sick leave. The feds are fine with no employee in the US ever getting any sick leave. Or vacation/PTO. Or holiday. What very little mention of sick leave in the federal regulations are specific to employees who are both Exempt and Salaried, part of the 29 CFR 541.602 regulation. While the word "holiday" is not mentioned anywhere in the federal regulations, there is sort of an indirect rule in the same 541.602 specific to Exempt Salaried employees only.
    - The feds do not require a uniform allowance, although IRS has taxation rules should someone get one. Federal DOL rules on uniforms (such as they are) protect minimum wage and not much else. Some states (CA) require employers to pay for uniforms but CA may be the only such state.
    - "Health and Welfare" depends on just what you mean. If you are talking about employer provided health care plans, then federal law (ERISA) does not require employers to offer such plans but does have a lot to say should the employer choose to do so. If you are talking about employer provided health care, ask to see the Summary Plan Document and read it. I have no idea what you mean by "Welfare" benefits.

    MD is not my state, and I have no idea on what rules (if any) it has. It is quite possible it is a "just like fed" state (there are a lot of those). However, many "just like fed" states are often "mostly just like fed" if you look at enough labor law. I would be very careful at saying that just because any particular state is "just like fed" most of the time means that it must be "just like fed" all the time. As far as I know, there is not a single state that does not have at least one "very much NOT like fed" rule running around. And your question seems to be trying very hard to come with a single "one size fits all" answer for a bunch of very legally unrelated benefits.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjanak View Post
    P.S. I also realize that An employer does not necessarily have to pay the as yet hired person. Only the person who is already emplyed must recieve paid training.
    This is getting in to grey territory. If the employer is controlling the time, then it mostly is paid time. The fact that the employer has created some fake hire date that has not yet happened is something that the government tends to not be impressed about. There are a huge number of court cases in which employers who claimed that the candidate have not yet been hired got hammered in court. I will not say that candiate training is never unpaid, but there is no general rule that it is not. The government tends to be very unimpressed with things like hire dates and term dates. The rule is if work was done, then the work is paid for.

    Read the factsheet I cited. Please note that you are citing a lot of "rules" that the feds apparently have never heard of. Interesting, since they are the ones that write the rules in the first place.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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    Here is a link to the MD rule:

    http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wa...rainmeet.shtml

    Basically, if your employer requires you to go, you must be paid for that time. If your profession requires you to go, it need not. An example would be a person who must maintain a certain number of CEUs in order to remain certified. Time spent maintaining certification need not be paid as work time (though frequently is). However, if your employer requires you to attend a certainly seminar, that time must be paid.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    There is a long time exception that if the training is mandated by the government then it is probably not hours worked.
    To add anothe kink:

    We are security guards that are employed by one company on a single contract for the last 2 or so years. The Federal Protective Service is absorbing many of our outposts. With that our employer negotuiated an additional contract so our guard can work those sites control by FPS. This means we have to go through GSA security guard training.

    My steward says that even though its the same employer, its a new contract and therefore our employer does not have to pay for the training. He says there is presidence involving Coastal Security. But I would bet my employer is using that exception you state above. The rumor mill is saying we won't get paid. I hate rumor mills and choose not to believe until it actually happens.

    But just in case have you ever heard of such a thing. That because it is a new contract but same employer, the training does not have to be paid?
    Last edited by pjanak; 09-28-2011 at 02:28 PM.

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    What contracts your employer negotiates should not affect whether or not this is paid training. That is between your employer and his clients, not between your employer and you.

    If your employer requires the training it is most likely paid time.

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    The rule I cited was a long time federal DOL rule. I am sure that the rule does not mention contracts, and I am sure that a change in contract by itself is nothing.

    HOWEVER, if (for example) the new contracts requires formal certification of all workers AND it is the government requiring the certification or the government will not allow the employees to work on the new contract, THEN we might be in the unpaid time territory. Only federal DOL can say for sure.

    You are talking about "contracts". The rule I cited talks about the government (not the employer) requiring the training. If you are looking to see if the hours must be paid, ignore the meaningless word "contract" and simply look to see if the government is the one requiring the training. The "contract" is just smoke and mirrors with this issue.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    The rule I cited was a long time federal DOL rule. I am sure that the rule does not mention contracts, and I am sure that a change in contract by itself is nothing.

    HOWEVER, if (for example) the new contracts requires formal certification of all workers AND it is the government requiring the certification or the government will not allow the employees to work on the new contract, THEN we might be in the unpaid time territory. Only federal DOL can say for sure.

    You are talking about "contracts". The rule I cited talks about the government (not the employer) requiring the training. If you are looking to see if the hours must be paid, ignore the meaningless word "contract" and simply look to see if the government is the one requiring the training. The "contract" is just smoke and mirrors with this issue.
    My initial question was relating to my employer when I started this thread. Indirectly the government requires all of the training. But Our case was actually a bit strange at first. Our contract site, while government, was not a GSA or FPS controlled site. Our employer paid for our "retraining" but not for our initial training.

    In the current situation FPS/GSA took control of almost all of the satelite locations under our contract. With them a new contract was negotiated to keep our guard force working. But in order to work at these FPS/GSA controlled sites we have to go through FPS Security guard training and testing, re-finger printed/ e-QIP background etc. Essentially treating us as though we were new hires because we are coming back into the FPS/GSA fold. We were in the fold until about 7 years ago. So given the time off from GSA we have to go through the training again.

    I think you are right that it is in the unpaid category. I pose the question to Fed DOL. Thanks for everyones input.
    Last edited by pjanak; 09-28-2011 at 09:18 PM.

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