Can a Company Require Mandatory Meetings & Not Pay?


Company staff meetings are one of the most loathed parts of a job, especially if the employee does not receive compensation for his time. Depending on the classification of the worker, a meeting might count as regular pay, overtime or part of the employee's requirement to earn a salary. Thus, human resources should handle pay for mandatory meetings.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees do not receive additional compensation for meetings unless the company authorizes it. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt employees receive a weekly salary regardless of how little or long they work. The FLSA only allows companies to classify employees as exempt if they have executive or professional duties. For instance, the company cannot call the janitor an administrative worker because he performs manual work, but a secretary usually qualifies as exempt.


Hourly workers, or nonexempt employees, must receive compensation for mandatory meetings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The only time when a company does not need to pay a nonexempt employee for a meeting is if the meeting is voluntary, outside of regular working hours and no job duties are performed. If a mandatory meeting pushes the employee over 40 hours for the week, the company must pay him time-and-a-half.


In some circumstances, the company can deduct meals and lodging provided for a meeting from an employee's paycheck if it is customary in the business' industry. For instance, restaurants often allow employees to pay for meetings with a deduction from their wages. Some states regulate payroll deductions, such as California, which requires employees to voluntarily agree to pay for the meal in writing, according to Nolo.


Employees should talk to the company's human resources department about their status under the FLSA and review their paychecks to ensure they are paid for a mandatory meeting. Nonexempt employees who do not receive compensation for mandatory meetings should contact their labor state labor board or file a complaint with the Department of Labor if the employer refuses to pay for a mandatory meeting.

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