SAN FRANCISCO — A group of trainees who filed a suit against their employer, Vector Marketing Corp, for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have received class certification from a federal district court in California. The class consists of around 45,000 employees in five states. After the court conditionally certified the collective action, notice was provided to roughly 145,000 potential class members, of which 4,500 opted in to become part of the class.
FLSA Class Certification
The representative plaintiff sued early in 2014, alleging that the company failed to pay trainees who went through a mandatory three-day training program in-person. Although trainees were barred from selling any products during the training, they were asked to make lists of potential customers and to schedule appointments with those people for demonstrations once the training was finished.
Vector argued to the court that the class could not be certified because not every trainee had supplied a list of potential customers. However, the judge stated that this question could be easily resolved at summary judgment or during a trial. Additionally, the judge stated that each named plaintiff and class member suffered the exact same injury – that each was denied wages for time spent in training – and that each went through substantially similar training and asked to provide the company with the names of potential recruits.
Compensation Time for Training Under FLSA
According to the Department of Labor, time spent by employees attending lectures, meetings, and training programs may or may not be hours worked for the purposes of FLSA. If the training is voluntary, takes place outside of normal work hours, is not directly related to the performance of the employee’s job, and no work is performed during the training, then it is likely not compensable time.
However, if the training is required by the employer, and the employee is made to understand that continuance of employment would be adversely affected by failure to attend, it is not voluntary and is likely compensable. This is even more likely if the training is directly related to the employee’s job and is designed to make the employee handle his or her job more effectively as opposed to training him or her for another position or to gain additional skills.
You may be entitled to minimum wage and/or overtime pay for time you spent in mandatory training required by your employer. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been deprived of your wage rights. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.