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Unpaid Training at Work

Some companies require employees to attend mandatory training time. This seems especially prevalent in the growing fitness instructor industry. In most cases, employees must be paid for training time.

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Do Employers Have to Pay for Training Time?

Yes, in most cases. Many jobs require some training or instruction before an employee can begin working. Training starts for half of the first day, or before a person’s employment begins. Other times, training involves classes at the company’s headquarters.

​In most cases, time spent in training for a job is “compensable time.” In other words, under wage laws, employees must be paid for that time. For tipped employees, this usually means at full minimum wage, not “tipped minimum wage.” After all, you can’t earn tips while training (usually). For other employees, it usually means at their normal hourly rate.

Employers often do not pay employees for training time. Some employers believe that, because the employee receives some benefit from the “training,” they don’t need to be paid for that time. In most cases, this is incorrect.


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Unpaid Training Time for Fitness Trainers

Unpaid job training happens in many industries; however, recently there seems to be a trend in the fitness industry that companies fail to pay new instructors for training time. For example, a company might require fitness trainers to attend a three-day course, sometimes out-of-state, to learn the ins and outs of the company’s methods.

In many cases, the company must pay for this time. If they don’t, the fitness instructor may have a claim under wage and hour laws, like the Fair Labor Standards Act. If travel and hotels were involved, the company may need to reimburse employees for travel and hotel expenses too.

A general rule is that if your employer required you to attend training but did not pay you for that time, you might have a claim. If you do, call us at (513) 202-0710 to discuss your options.

We love what we do, we have experienced team members, and we work with great clients. We would love to explore how we can help you as a client.

“Pre-Employment” Training

Sometimes employers will require training “before” a person’s employment officially begins. Must employers pay you for training before you are hired? Again, in most cases, yes. Employers cannot get away with not paying you by simply putting the training before you officially start with the company.

If your employer has required you to attend training or classes but did not pay you for that time, and you think you might have a claim or even just have a question, please contact us at (513) 202-0710. We would be happy to discuss your options and rights. The call is free and there is no obligation.