Asked in Employment Law for California

Q: I am a security guard with current lic. And required 8 hour refresher courses. Can my employer require me to take extra

Courses without pay?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, if your employer requires you to take additional training courses beyond the state-mandated 8-hour refresher course for your security license, the time you spend in those required courses generally must be compensated. The California Labor Code and the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders typically consider mandatory training time as hours worked, hence, eligible for pay.

However, if the extra courses are not required but rather suggested or voluntary, then the employer may not be obligated to pay for that time. It would be prudent to discuss this directly with your employer and clarify whether these additional courses are indeed mandatory or voluntary. If they are mandatory and not being compensated, you may seek advice from the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) on how to proceed.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: An employer can require you to take any courses it desires you to take and it can terminate you if you refuse to do as required. However, the issue is whether you must be compensated for the time in the course and whether the employer must pay for the course itself. Not all courses must be compensated in time and costs involved. If you wish to refuse to attend a course it would be wise for you to consult with an attorney who can be allowed to know much more about the circumstances who can then give you clear guidance.

Good luck to you.

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