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Should you be paid for attending work meetings?

Should employees be compensated for attending meetings during the work day? The short answer is yes, in most cases. Here is a brief guide to help employees determine whether or not their attendance at meetings should be compensated.

General requirements

Fortunately there are a few simple requirements that need to be met in order to determine whether or not meetings, training, seminars or lectures should be compensated. The four requirements are:

  • Attendance is during regular working hours — falls within employee’s typical work schedule, within a 40 hour week.
  • Attendance is mandatory — meaning employee is subject to penalty such as denial of promotion or other opportunities, loss of pay or job duties or other discipline such as being fired or laid off, if they do not attend.
  • Content of meeting, training, seminar or lecture is directly related to employee’s job — in terms of training, this means the content is meant to help employee’s perform or improve performance of their duties.
  • Employee performs productive work during attendance — for example, if an employee is required to practice whatever the training was or otherwise complete work that can be used for business purposes.

If any such meeting or other gathering at work meets all four of these requirements, it should be compensated by the company and should be counted as hours worked.

What should employees do?

If an employee thinks they attended a meeting that they should have been paid for, they may be able to file a claim in order to receive compensation for the time lost. If you are an employee who might deserve compensation for meetings attended or other activities you can consult an attorney or your HR department to get more information about your situation.

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