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.