Can my boss force us to take an online course to keep our jobs?

UPDATED: Jul 11, 2012

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Can my boss force us to take an online course to keep our jobs?

I work at a restaurant in MA as a server. We make less than minimum wage because we earn tips. Recently our employer decided that we all had to take an online course, which teaches you about how alcohol is made and kinds of liquor, etc. He says that completing this course is mandatory to keep our jobs. The state does not require this course, nor do the feds. We do not get paid for the time needed to study, nor are we given time at work to do so. Can he really hold our jobs over our heads if we don’t complete this online course? Doesn’t he have to pay us minimum wage for the tim

Asked on July 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First you need to read any employee employer handbook and other documentation you might have signed for your employment as to being required to take the course that you boss wants you to take online.

If there is nothing stating that you have to do so, then you do not. If you want to take the course then you are required to be paid for your time to do so by your employer.

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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