Meal breaks, training and work activities: When do employers pay?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Wage And Hour Claims |

When you’re on the clock, you should be paid for your work. What about times when you’re in your workplace and aren’t clocked in, though? Are there times when your employer is taking advantage of your hard work and failing to pay you?

If so, then you’re not alone. It’s easy to say you’ll do something for your employer and trust that they’ll clock you in early because your shift hasn’t started. You might not check that they added time to your workweek when they asked you to work through one of your breaks. It’s a mistake not to double check those hours, though, because without doing so, your employer could be shorting you pay that you deserve.

Does an employer have to pay you for training?

Employers should pay you for all work-related expenses in California. That means that any mandatory training should be covered. For example, if the employer asks you to come in and “see if you like the job” while expecting you to watch someone who is training you on how the role works, then you should be paid for that time. Even if they frame that visit as one where you can get a feel for the role, if it’s with the intention of training you or preparing you to work on your own, then that time should be compensated.

Employers must pay for employer-sponsored training programs, employee meetings, work courses, lectures and other required training activities.

Does an employer have to pay for your break time?

In some cases, your employer may be required to give you paid breaks. To have an unpaid break, an employee has to take you completely off duty. Additionally, they must give you an uninterrupted break and may not discourage you from taking a break. Failing any one of these requirements may mean that your employer needs to pay for your break time. On-duty meal breaks must be paid.

These are a few things to keep in mind about your pay. If you are training or being asked to work on breaks, you should be seeking compensation for your time.