Were my former employers required to pay me during the training?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Were my former employers required to pay me during the training?

I found a job that I was hired quickly through and i’m new to jobs, and the
adult-world overall, so I was caught up quick. I quit today due to a lot of
reasons, it being sketchy as one. It’s an energy deregulation company in
Sacramento, CA that connects costumers with affordable gas suppliers.
They didn’t have a set min. wage for training, just ‘badges’ that you earned-
like in girl/boy scouts. They gave a basic estimate/time frame of the average
person getting these badges, but that part did not make too much sense.
I started orientation on Monday which went from 2pm-5pm. On Tuesday I
spent the whole day training, from 11am-8pm.
I did sign a contract talking about the badges, but I didn’t know people paid
their employees during training…so would this be true even if they are
earning these ‘badges’? and if I signed a contract? If it’s illegal, what are my
next steps?

Thank you in advance.

Asked on January 31, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal to not pay employees for *any* work and employer-mandated, -required, or -provided training is considered work. They had to pay you for the time you spent in training, at least at minimum wage. If they refuse to pay, if you deem it worth your time, you could sue them in small claims court for the money. Employees may not contract away their right to payment--the labor laws don't allow that.

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