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Paid for 'Mandatory Training'? Massachusetts

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  • Paid for 'Mandatory Training'? Massachusetts

    My employer has stated and written down times for mandatory training classes that are held after work for 2-3 hours but we aren't paid to attend. The 'policy manual' also states that should I leave before one years time they will back charge me the cost for the training classes. I don't want to attend because they are all about things I know about already and I never receive any certificates stating I have attended them either.

    They have some other poor practices such as billing customers for time that they don't pay us for but right now this is my pet project. I don't see how works in any legal since too much contradiction.

  • #2
    You have several different unrelated issues.

    - Non-Exempt employees are paid based on actual hours worked. Exempt salaried employees are not. Exempt salaried employees never have a legal expectation for additional pay for working extra hours. You did not say what type of employee you are, so I am uncertain which rules affects you. Assuming that you are Non-Exempt (someone with a legal expectation of paid overtime and being paid based on actual hours worked), then I can point you at the rules.
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/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.
    - Maybe possible future deductions that have not yet occured and may not occured are complicated. It depends on your state's law, which I do not know. (Maybe another responder does). At the federal level, it depends on your Exempt vs. Non-Exempt status, and whether or not the deduction would cause a violation in MW/OT rules (non-exempt employees) or salary basis (most Exempt employees). There is no one-size-fits-all answer here at the federal level. All federal answers would be very detail specific.

    Not your question, but your employer requiring you to attend any classes the employer wants is 100% legal, and terminating you for refusing to attend the class would also be 100% legal. Legally if you are not being paid correctly, your legally correct response is filing a wage claim or a court action, not refusing training.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      You are correct I am an hourly employee.

      I have one more question that you may have feedback on. My job requires that I travel to different sites (no overnight) throughout the day which normally starts at the employers location. When I travel home from the last non repeating job location my employer bills the customer for my travel time back to my home but only pays me for the time on the job.

      We have company vehicles but I am going to start leaving that at work and taking my own car. We have the vehicles so we can be 'on call' but I can't even stop for a sandwich on the way home without a disapproving phone call questioning my where abouts (gps on board). Its a disadvantage for me because I have to drive all the way home and then go out just to pick up a gallon of milk etc. I assume if I had to return to work and drive my own car home they would have to pay me till I returned to the employers location also.

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.35.htm
        http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...9CFR785.38.htm

        Merely driving a company vehicle does not, in and of itself, make all your travel time compensatory.

        If you drive your own vehicle, in Massachusetts you must be paid mileage (or another reasonable method) as reimbursement. So don't expect the company to necessarily approve your request to use your own car.

        Just because the company bills specific time for a call doesn't mean you have to be paid for that same time. There is no wage and hour relationship between the two.
        Pattymd
        Senior Member
        Last edited by Pattymd; 05-15-2009, 06:01 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I merely want to take my own car to and from my reporting work location not drive and get mileage.

          Taking the vehicle home benefits them 100% and me 0%. I can be an hour and a half from home when the day ends and the commute is on me. If I drive back to the primary work location they appear to have to pay me for that same commute. As I said I can't even stop for milk or a sandwich on the way home w/o getting the 3rd degree so unless they can force me to take the vehicle as a condition of work I am going to cease that.

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          • #6
            But MA law requires reimbursement for business use of your personal vehicle in traveling between clients. They do not HAVE to allow you to use your own vehicle; that's the employer's call, not yours.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              You are missing my point. I don't want to drive my vehicle on company business just my commute to and from the primary work location.

              I currently take the company vehicle home. I am going to start leaving the company vehicle at the work address and drive to that location with my car and then take the company vehicle to jobs and back to the 'shop' then drive my car home. Then, the way I see it, when I drive back to the primary work location at the end of the day I should be paid since I am not driving home. I don't believe MA law can force me to drive home, store and be responsible for their vehicle 7 days a week does it? All this is to the company's advantage and I can't stop for a gallon of milk? I'm not talking about taking the vehicle to Atlantic City for a weekend. If I stop on the way home at the store I get a phone call asking me why I stopped etc. I have never worked in such a paranoid environment.

              They avoid paying me to drive back to my employers location from jobs long distances away, they don't have to store their own vehicles and shift responsibility to me. They even expect me to wash the vehicle on my time.

              They sell the take home vehicle as a benefit and it is, to them.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by thiscan'tberight View Post
                You are missing my point. I don't want to drive my vehicle on company business just my commute to and from the primary work location.
                Your employer is free to make this a term or condition of your employment. If they are unwilling to negotiate this, your only option is to seek other employment.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thiscan'tberight View Post
                  You are missing my point. I don't want to drive my vehicle on company business just my commute to and from the primary work location.

                  I currently take the company vehicle home. I am going to start leaving the company vehicle at the work address and drive to that location with my car and then take the company vehicle to jobs and back to the 'shop' then drive my car home. Then, the way I see it, when I drive back to the primary work location at the end of the day I should be paid since I am not driving home. I don't believe MA law can force me to drive home, store and be responsible for their vehicle 7 days a week does it? All this is to the company's advantage and I can't stop for a gallon of milk? I'm not talking about taking the vehicle to Atlantic City for a weekend. If I stop on the way home at the store I get a phone call asking me why I stopped etc. I have never worked in such a paranoid environment.

                  They avoid paying me to drive back to my employers location from jobs long distances away, they don't have to store their own vehicles and shift responsibility to me. They even expect me to wash the vehicle on my time.

                  They sell the take home vehicle as a benefit and it is, to them.
                  It is a benefit to you as it reduces wear and tear on your own car as well as personal gas usage. It is totally up to the company whether or not they will allow you to leave the car at work and use your own vehicle to and from. It also doesn't make the drive time automatically compensable just because you opt to leave the work vehicle at the job and use your own car to go home. What car you are in doesn't have any effect on being paid for the time you are in it.

                  They also do not need to permit you to run personal errands in the company vehicle. There are actually many very good reasons for prohibiting this and while I do think that perhaps they are taking it a bit far, that is their right.

                  It isn't that there is a law that says they can do all this, but there is an absence of a law that says they can not.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So I drive to work in the Providence/SEMA area and pick up their vehicle and they can tell me to drive to Boston and to start back at 5pm but the drive back in their vehicle is completely uncompensated even though I am returning to my reporting work location?

                    Great work laws.


                    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                    It also doesn't make the drive time automatically compensable just because you opt to leave the work vehicle at the job and use your own car to go home. What car you are in doesn't have any effect on being paid for the time you are in it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thiscan'tberight View Post
                      So I drive to work in the Providence/SEMA area and pick up their vehicle and they can tell me to drive to Boston and to start back at 5pm but the drive back in their vehicle is completely uncompensated even though I am returning to my reporting work location?

                      Great work laws.
                      That's no what she said. You drive to the office and pick up the vehicle-commute time-not compensable. You drive to Boston to a job site-compensable. You drive back to the office-compensable. You drive home in your vehicle-not compensable.

                      Did you read the regulations in the links I provided?
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        That works for me. The way it works now we leave Boston at 5 and its on us to drive home even though home is right near work.

                        This is why I don't want to take their vehicle home and work another 30-40 hours a month driving for their benefit without pay. I could care less about saving a tiny bit a wear and tear on my car for the few miles to my reporting work location.

                        I guess it comes down to whether I can be forced to take their vehicle home as a condition of employment. Well I am throwing the gavel down and if they say its a condition I'm leaving for bluer water since I know no one else that has to put up with this crap. This isn't any different than locking the Costco employees in for 15 minutes every night imo. Its all unpaid.

                        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                        That's no what she said. You drive to the office and pick up the vehicle-commute time-not compensable. You drive to Boston to a job site-compensable. You drive back to the office-compensable. You drive home in your vehicle-not compensable.

                        Did you read the regulations in the links I provided?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You do know how hard it is to find a job in this economy, right? I can pretty much guarantee that you won't qualify for unemployment if you quit over this vehicle issue.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            Yes they can insist that you take the vehicle home and leave from home with it. It is only compensable time if you re required to drive to their location to pick up the vehicle and then bring it back at the end of the day as part of your job.
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can you direct me to the pertinent law that states they can force employees to store their vehicles?

                              Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                              Yes they can insist that you take the vehicle home and leave from home with it. It is only compensable time if you re required to drive to their location to pick up the vehicle and then bring it back at the end of the day as part of your job.

                              Comment

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