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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I attended a mandatory company wide meeting followed

Customer Question

I attended a mandatory company wide meeting followed immediately by a convention. Both events were mandatory attendance which I don't have a problem with. Lunch was served each day as well as dinner. We were all required to be present at the lunches and stay for the dinners. On Friday, my immediate supervisor informed me that I would be paid a straight 8 hours for every day. It is my understanding that the business lunches and dinners are to be paid time as well as the regular business hours for the week. Is this correct?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Mexico
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, you're my first stop. This just happened last week.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: There's alot of things going on with my company that I have questions about, but this is the most immediate.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

While New Mexico's wage and hour laws do not specifically address whether employees are to be paid for attendance at meetings, lectures or training, it would fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as employers and employees are subject to it.

According to regulations, an employee’s time attending a meeting, seminar, lecture, or training must be counted as hours worked unless it meets each of four requirements:

  • the attendance is outside the employee’s regular working hours;
  • the attendance is in fact voluntary;
  • the meeting, seminar, lecture, or training is not directly related to the employee’s job; and
  • the employee does not perform productive work while attending the meeting, seminar, lecture, or training.

29 CFR 785.27

If each of these four requirements is met, the employer does not need to count the employee’s time attending a meeting, seminar, lecture, or training as hours worked.

You can read that, and a very in depth explanation of all four factors, here. But it sounds like from the facts it definitely wasn't voluntary attendance (e.g., if you had skipped it, you could have been disciplined) and it does sound like it was related to your job. Therefore, it would seem the regulation should apply.

You may want to address this matter with HR to see if it can be resolved. If not, you can file a complaint with the United States Department of Labor.

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 months ago.

I see that you have not left a positive rating for me yet. Was there something I could clarify for you about my answer, or additional information you needed? If so, please let me know. I'm here to help!

If not, I would kindly ask that you take a moment at this time to click on the stars to leave a positive rating, as that is the only way I am credited for my time and assistance, even if you have left a deposit. Remember that you can always ask follow-up questions in this thread at no additional cost after leaving a positive rating. Thank you!

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