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Compliance Assistance Resources

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. Time spent by your employees attending 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. You may establish for the benefit of your employees a program of instruction similar to courses offered by independent bona fide institutions of learning. Voluntary attendance by your employees at such training courses, outside of their working hours, would not be hours worked, even if the courses directly relate to the employees' jobs or are paid for by you.
  2. If the employee voluntarily decides to attend an independent school, college or trade school after work hours, the time is not hours worked even if the courses are related to his or her current position or you pay for the courses.
  3. Time spent in certain supplemental classroom instruction held in conjunction with apprenticeship programs. For information about Apprenticeship training, click on the 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 the employee's regular working hours.

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