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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses

- FLSA Hours Worked Advisor

Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs

Many employers give employees opportunities to go to lectures and seminars and to attend training programs. Employers may also require employees to attend company meetings. Your attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities may or may not be hours worked depending on the facts of the situation.

Special Situations

The following are some special situations where time spent attending lectures, training sessions or courses of instruction is not regarded as hours worked.

  1. Your employer may establish for the benefit of his or her employees a program of instruction that is similar to courses offered by independent bona fide institutions of learning. Your voluntary attendance at such training courses, outside of your working hours, would not be hours worked, even if the courses directly relate to your job or are paid for by your employer.
  2. If you voluntarily decide to attend an independent school, college or trade school after hours, the time is not hours worked even if the courses are related to your current position or are paid for by your employer.
  3. Time spent in certain supplemental classroom instruction held in conjunction with apprenticeship programs may not be hours worked. For information about Apprenticeship training click on underlined text.
  4. Special rules apply to public sector employees who attend outside of regular working hours specialized or follow-up training, which is required by law for certification of public sector employees. Click here to view the regulations concerning these special rules.
  5. Police officers and fire fighters attending a police or fire academy or other training facility are not considered to be on duty during those times when they are not in class or at a training session, if they are free to use the time for personal pursuits. Such free time is not hours worked.

In situations other than those listed above, it is necessary to determine whether the time spent attending lectures, training sessions or courses of instruction is hours worked. The first factor to consider is whether the attendance is during your regular working hours.

Does the lecture, meeting, training or similar activity take place during your regular working hours?