Can I be trained for a job without pay?

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Can I be trained for a job without pay?

I trained at a local sandwich shop. I worked about 35 hoursbut without pay. They say it was a training period.

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you must be paid for this. Hourly employees must be paid for all hours spent working, even if the work is called "training"--something required by the employer, which is for the employer's benefit and not the employee's more general benefit, is "work," no matter what it is called. IF the employer had told you to get a degree or a certification in, say, food handling, they would not necessarily have to pay you, since that degree or certification has more general application or benefit. But training at the shop in how to do the specific job you were hired to do is "work" and you must be paid for it.


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