I’m a tree crew foreman. Our boss says we have to come to work after a 40-hour week and take CPR and defensive driving classes on our own time without pay. Is this legal?

Steve Duggan replies:

The answer depends on whether the employee is classified as exempt, or not exempt, from the application of your state’s overtime laws.  Exempt employees are paid by salary for all the hours they work, including hours for training or for hours in excess of 40 in a week.  Therefore, the answer is “no” to your questions, for exempt employees. However, non-exempt employees are entitled to be paid for the time they spend in training, and to be paid overtime under federal law for any working time (including in mandatory training) for all hours in excess of 40 in a week.  There are some additional requirements under state laws, and you or one of your team might want to consult with a local employment law attorney. Some states, such as California, also require overtime be paid for in excess of eight hours in a day

Posted 10-29-2019

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.