Online training time: DOL explains when to pay.

With classroom training and off-site conferences cancelled during the pandemic, much employee training went online in 2020. Just in time, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new opinion letter that helps clarify when you must pay workers for the time they spend undergoing training that is delivered online.

Generally, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires paying workers for participating in any training that benefits the employer and that the employer requires. Voluntary training provided after hours taught by independent trainers usually isn't paid time.

But some employers have questioned when they have to pay for time spent on either their in-house developed webinars or those produced independently. Here is how the DOL explained its approach:

Example 1: A nurse wants to attend a webinar directly related to her job and have her employer reimburse the cost. The webinar counts toward her state's continuing education requirement for licensing. She wants to view it after work. Is this paid time?

Answer: The DOL says no. While job-related, the employer doesn't require attendance and isn't providing the training.

Example 2: An employee attends a webinar related to his job during work hours. He could view it after work if he chooses...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT