Can an employer make an employee take a class for their jobs but not compensate them for it?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can an employer make an employee take a class for their jobs but not compensate them for it?

I am a student employee of a university. A number of student employees, already hired, are being required to take a mandatory 1 credit class next term, for which we are not being required to pay for. However, we are not receiving any other compensation for the class, other than an eventual $0.50/hour raise. We are not being compensated for the time we spend in class, however, because university policy does not allow students to be paid for time they are in class.

Asked on November 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can make employees do this: an employer is free to set the terms, conditions, and requirements for employment, and these can include the requirement that employees take certain classes without receiving compensation for doing so--the employer could even require the employees to pay for the class themselves.

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