Q: An employee quit after training and orientation, but before starting their actual job. Do we have to pay them?
A: Even if the former employee did not begin their regularly scheduled work, they must be paid for the time they spent in the required orientation and training.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers must be paid for any time they are required or allowed to work. Time worked ordinarily includes all time during which an employee is required to be on the employer's premises, on duty, or at a prescribed work place—essentially any time spent under the employer’s control. This includes new employee orientation, paperwork completion, reading of the employee handbook, and on- or off-site training. It doesn’t matter that the employee wasn’t yet doing the job you hired them to do; it only matters that what they were doing is considered time worked under the law.
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