Compensation for Training

Recently questions have been posed to Local 48 Business Representatives as to when an employer is not required to pay an employee for training.

The following is the Oregon Administrative Rule to which we look to for guidance:

OAR 839-020-0044

Lectures, Meetings and Training Programs

(1) Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as work time if the following four criteria are met:

(a) Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;

(b) Attendance is voluntary;

(c) The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and

(d) The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

(2) Involuntary attendance: Attendance is not voluntary if it is required by the employer. It is not voluntary in fact, if the employee is given to understand or led to believe that the employee's present working conditions or the continuance of the employee's employment would be adversely affected by non-attendance.

(3) Training is directly related to an employee's job if it is designed to make the employee handle the employee's job more effectively as distinguished from training the employee for another job or teaching the employee a new additional skill in the same job.

(4) Independent training is time spent by the employee on the employee’s own initiative attending an independent school, college, or independent trade school after hours. Time spent in this activity is not considered hours worked for an employer even if the courses are related to the employee’s job.

(5) Special situations: There are special situations where the time spent in attending lectures, training sessions and courses of instruction is not regarded as hours worked. For example, an employer may establish for the benefit of its employees a program of instruction, which corresponds to courses offered by independent bona fide institutions of learning. Voluntary attendance by an employee at such courses outside of working hours would not be hours worked even if they are directly related to his job, or paid for by the employer.

(6) Time spent in an organized program of related, supplemental instruction by employees working under bona fide apprenticeship programs may be excluded from working time if the following criteria are met:

(a) The apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which meets the standards of and is registered with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, Apprenticeship and Training Division; and

(b) Such time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice's regular duties. If the above criteria are met, the time spent in such related supplemental training will not be counted as hours worked unless the written agreement specifically provides that it is hours worked. The mere payment or agreement to pay for time spent in related instruction does not constitute an agreement that such time is hours worked.

(7) Time spent in required training outside regular working hours at specialized or follow up training which is required for certification of employees by any law or ordinance does not constitute compensable hours of work. The time spent in training as provided in this subsection is not compensable, even if all or part of the cost of training is borne by the employer.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 653
Stats. Implemented: ORS 653
Hist.: BL 1-1990, f. 2-27-90, cert. ef. 2-28-90; BL 9-1996, f. & cert. ef. 10-8-96; BLI 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 1-9-02

If you have any questions or concerns please contact your Business Representative. 

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