Must an employee be paid for travel and training time?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Must an employee be paid for travel and training time?

I have been told that I have to attend training and travel 20 hours with no pay for travel and that if I don’t, I will lose my job. Is this legal ?

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are an hourly wage employee, and you have to take mandatory training for your job (and it has no use for anything else in your life), the time you spend taking it is considered to be compensable work time.  Your employer has to pay you for it.  Also, if it puts you into an overtime situation, then it has to be paid as overtime pay.  Additionally, any such training being conducted in an off-site location, must also be paid by your employer. If you are not being properly paid, then you can contact your state department of labor, or contact an employment attorney for help.

If you refuse to attend this training, then yes, you could lose your job.  Unless you have an employment contract, union agreement or there is a company policy contrary to this (or if some type of discrimination is a factor), you must take any training that your employer requests.  The fact is that if you are an "at-will" employee (i.e. none of the aforementioned applies to your situation) your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  You in turn can continue to work for your employer or not, your choice.   

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption