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Ask Worklogic: Paying Employees and Lunch & Learns


Do we need to pay employees for time during Lunch and Learns?


The answer is dependant on a test of four factors.

Lunch and learns can be a great way to promote learning in the workplace. However, since they normally occur during lunch periods, employers often ask if they are compensable. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees for the hours they’ve actually worked. Workplace training is considered working, unless it falls under one of the following factors:

(1) Attendance by the employee is voluntary,

(2) Attendance is outside of the employee’s regular work schedule,

(3) The employee does not do any productive work during the training session, or

(4) The training is not directly related to the employee’s job. If hosting a Lunch and Learn, determine if your training meets any of these requirements, and adjust accordingly.

Communicate whether or not the training is paid or unpaid, mandatory or optional, and if it is a topic that employees can apply to their career.

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Disclaimer: The information and resources provided herein are not a substitute for experienced legal counsel and does not constitute legal advice or attempt to address the numerous factual issues that inevitably arise in any employment-related dispute. Although this information attempts to cover some major recent developments, it is not all-inclusive, and any recommendations are based upon HR best practices and procedures. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal guidance.

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