Can an employer require a safe driving course without paying the employee for their time?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer require a safe driving course without paying the employee for their time?

My company just started a new policy, as follows: “Any person involved in any vehicle incident will be required to take an 8-hour defensive driving course. The course will be paid for by the company but must be taken on the employee’s own time”. I was just wondering if a company As it was explained to us, this means any vehicle incident, whether the employee was at fault or not.

Asked on December 8, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that training time is time for which an employee must be paid. In other words, an employee is to be compensated for performing activities which are job-related. Specifically, training time is work time if it occurs during an employee's regular shift or if it is required by the employer.
That having been said, training time need not be counted as work time and consequently not paid if it:

occurs outside of an employee's normal work schedule,
is truly voluntary (i.e. no direct or indirect pressure on the employee to attend),
not directly related to the employee's current job (i.e. the training is designed to qualify them to get a new job and not to enhance the skills used by them on the existing job), and
the employee does no other work during the training.

Since attending this training session is mandatory (i.e. a condition of employment) it appears to be time for which you should be compensated. He may also be entitled to pay for any time spent traveling to the course.
At this point, you can contact your state department of labor fir further information and/or consult with an employment law attoreny.

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