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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38906
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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can my employer pay my tuition for a class without also paying

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can my employer pay my tuition for a class without also paying my time?


If the class is "primarily for the benefit of the employer," then you must be paid for your time, because you are working. If the class is primarily for your benefit, then the employer does not have to pay for your time. Examples:

1. Employee must take 25 hours of continuing education in order to maintain his/her professional license with the State of California. Employee's job requires a professional license. This is primarily for the employee's benefit, because the employee cannot work in his/her profession without the license, regardless of the employer.

2. Employee works for the employer's HR department. Employer requires employee to take a class on investigation of sex discrimination and harassment claims. This is primarily for employer's benefit, because the employer needs employee to be current on the issue of sex harassment in order to do the job for which the employee is hired.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In this case, the class is not required but benefits both the employer and employee equally in a general knowledge development manner. Employer offers to pay employee's tuition if they want to take a day off to attend. Any further thoughts?

California Wage Orders require the employer to pay for half the usual or scheduled day's work, but in no event less than two hours nor more than four hours, at the employee's regular rate of pay. (Not applicable where work suspended by Act of God or other cause not within the employer's control, threat to employees or property, or failure of public utilities.) 8 Cal.C.Regs. § 11010-11170 et seq. ¶ 5.

So, if attendance at the class is mandatory, then that means the class is part of the employee's job duties, and wages must be paid in accordance with the above-cited wage orders.

Hope this helps.
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