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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9394
Experience:  Since 1983
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I am a Christian and a USA Citizen. I am paid commission only

Customer Question

I am a Christian and a USA Citizen. I am paid commission only by a Canadian company. Can my boss fire me if I refuse to go to our corporate training which is scientology based? If she fires me do I have a case?
I have been with the company for 6 years and planned on retiring with this company. I am the top salesperson in the company
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. To be clear, you are working in the US, or in Canada?
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live and work in California.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Are all the employees required to attend the training? Are they going to pay you for attending the training? Please clarify what you mean by "scientology based" training.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes, all employees are required and we were only given a 3 week notice. The seminar is usually 3-5 days and runs 16 + hours per day. The seminar is in Toronto Canada.
Our employer pays for the seminar, but not our time, as we are on commission only. (we are not paid for attending the seminar)
The company is called Guaranteed Prosperity by Meir Ezra a known scientologist. At least half of the slides they show say, "LRH" which is L. Ron. Hubbard. at the bottom of the slides. Many of his teaching / concepts are straight from Scientology.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe I should not have put his name? I hope this does not get me into trouble
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
I'll get the moderators to remove that name. Is the seminar scheduled for a time that you would normally be working? Do you normally work at the employer's place of business?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
Will the employer reimburse the expenses you incur in traveling to Toronto?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The hours are very intensive... usually from 9am to 10pm or later. It is friday - sunday. We normally do not work on the weekends. We are usually fully reimbursed for all expenses for trip... fly, cab, food, ALL yes
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago. state law, if an employer requires an employee to attend an out-of-town business meeting, training session, or any other event, the employer cannot disclaim an obligation to pay for the employee's time in getting to and from the location of that event. Time spent driving, or as a passenger on an airplane, train, bus, taxi cab or car, or other mode of transportation, in traveling to and from this out-of-town event, and time spent waiting to purchase a ticket, check baggage, or get on board is, under such circumstances, time spent carrying out the employer's directives, and thus, can only be characterized as time in which the employee is subject to the employer's control. See also page 46-4 of Even if you are usually paid based only on commissions, the employer is required to pay at least minimum wage (plus overtime if applicable) for your time spent going to and from and attending any training. If the employer is not going to pay, you are not legally required to attend the training and the employer cannot retaliate against you for not attending. You can verify my answer with your local DIR office, listed at Also, states:The act of requiring an employee to attend a religious service is in clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the “Accommodations” section of the EEOC guidelines (described below). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote the definitive argument against the practice of mandatory worship services in EEOC v. Townley Eng'g & Mfg. Co., 859 F.2d 610, 615 (9th Cir. 1988) (holding that an employer must accommodate atheist employee by allowing him to opt out of worship services), which still stands as the leading case on the issue. Whether or not the "training" program is actually a pitch for scientology is a question of fact, but even if it is not, the employer cannot make you attend without paying for your time. I hope this information is helpful.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago., lecture, and training timeCalifornia minimum wage laws require employers to count time spent by employees at meetings, lectures, or training unless all four of the following criteria are met:attendance occurs outside regular working hours;attendance is voluntary;the meeting, lecture, or training is not directly related to the employees job; andthe employee does not perform productive work while at the meeting, lecture, or training.Attendance is consider to not be voluntary if employees are led to believe that their absence would lead to their termination or otherwise negatively impact their present working conditions in some other manner.A meeting, lecture, or training is directly related to an employee’s job if it is designed to help the employee perform his or her current job duties more effectively as distinguished from preparing the employee for a new job or helping the employee learn a new skill.