Can my employer force me to pay for training and not reimburse me?

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Can my employer force me to pay for training and not reimburse me?

I am a salaried employee. Can my employer make training mandatory on a Saturday (every Saturday for 3 months)? On top of that they are requiring that we purchase materials for the course to the tune of $200. They are saying this is not optional. They’ve even offered to deduct the money from our paychecks to help us pay for it because they know it’s a lot.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, much--if not most--unfair behavior is not illegal. An employer may make weekend training a condition of employment, and fire anyone who does not do it (indeed, it might be considered termination for cause, since you are not following employer policy or instructions). They may require employees to purchase their own training, etc. materials and do not have to reimburse them. The only limitation is that hourly employees must be paid for all hours worked (and the training is work for this purpose), and employees who are not exempt from overtime must be paid  overtime as appropriate.


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