The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay their workers for all the work they perform, but sometimes the definition of what activities qualify as “work” gets a little fuzzy. Generally, any time employees devote to activities that ultimately benefit their employer is considered time for which they should be compensated under the FLSA.
One of the areas in which this can get a little tricky is the time workers spend in training. Employers already invest a fair amount of time and money in hiring new employees. They have to take the time or pay someone to sift through résumés and conduct interviews. Once a candidate has been selected, even experienced workers usually require a certain amount of training to familiarize them with the way their new employer does things.
Employers generally pay for this training time, but it’s not always easy to tell where to draw the line. Although some employers have programs that help their workers pay for their continuing education, it’s not required by law. So the question becomes where should the line be drawn between education and training? Continue reading