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Employment Law/pay for mandatory training

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Question
I am an RN working for a home health care agency. The county is requiring all nurses caring for a patient labeled as a mental health recipient to take classes in order to care for these patients. Classes such as Mental Health First Aid, Recipient's Rights, CPR for the Mental Health Patient, etc.. some of the courses are on line, the others we must attend in person. Is my employer required to pay me while I attend these courses outside my normal working hours? I live in Michigan. Thank you.

Answer
Scott - It depends on whether the agency is requiring you to take the courses.  If it is optional, or if the courses will count as part of your continuing education credits, then no, your employer isn't required to pay.  If you are being told you have to take them so that the employer can continue in enter the mental health home health care provider business, it is compensable work.  The test looks at who the principal benefit accrues to, the employee or the employer.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire

Expertise

I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.

Experience

Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Education/Credentials
Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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