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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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