CanI sue a company if I was not paid for 5 hours of orientation and training?

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2011

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CanI sue a company if I was not paid for 5 hours of orientation and training?

I was hired by a national restaurant chain and they had me go through orientation and training for about 5 hours. I then was told they had tried to put me in the computer and I was marked as not re-hirable. This resulted in them telling me that I could not work there. However I was never compensated for the lost time in those 3 weeks that they put off after hiring me, nor for the 5 hours that I worked.

Asked on April 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no compensation for the time you spent waiting to be told whether  you would have work or shifts, etc., unless you were being hired as a salaried position *and* you had an official start date. Once you hired in a salaried capacity, you need to be paid at your salaried weekly rate after your start date, whether your employer has you doing productive work or not.

However, if you were hired for an hourly position, you're only paid for time actually spent working, so if you were not working, no pay.

2) Whether you need to be paid for the 5 hours of training and orientation depends on the exact circumstances. If it was part of the interviewing/hiring/etc. process, then probably not; if you were hired first, then trained, you probably should be paid--though since you'd need to bring a legal action to get the money, it's probably not worth pursuing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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