• May 22, 2019 at 4:03 pm #89415
    Tom Schmitzer

    I send my techs to night time training, one night per month for aprox. a 3 hour class. I pay for all their training classes they choose to take. They are now requesting to get paid for the time they are there and travel time, which is 15-45 minutes one way. I would like to know if there are other shops doing this, and what is their procedure.

    May 23, 2019 at 7:11 am #89430
    Tom Ham

    We pay $20 per hour for seat time in classes as you describe. We pay it monthly. Typical class is 15-30 minutes away. We do not pay for that travel time. We are now doing more online training. AVI OnDemand has a nice program for that, better than what we have previously tried. Initially we are setting a goal of 1 class per week and so far it is working. They have 300+ classes. These are taken mainly at the shop during work hours so no additional pay is needed.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    May 24, 2019 at 10:36 pm #89543
    William Mays, Jr.

    While most shops pay for the class, and techs give their time, participation may go up if techs were paid. Of course techs willing to invest in their training are generally better techs and employees.

    the move to daytime training with pay would really help this industry.

    May 25, 2019 at 12:09 pm #89556
    jay weckerle

    There are plenty of techs available. If they are not willing to invest in knowledge they get to keep, someone pissed off at another employer will be glad to replace them.

    May 28, 2019 at 6:34 pm #89726
    Frank Scandura III

    there is a lot of discussion on the new labor laws regarding tech and advisor pay- we are required to pay for training time, and it varies by state. I highly recommend you check with your local labor board and see what the laws are and compare them to the federal laws. Many shops are being audited by the department of labor due to overtime violations  – 

    Frank M Scandura III

    1 user liked this post.
    May 30, 2019 at 9:43 am #89766

    We pay for training but not the time to attend.  We do pay our techs very well to come to work educated and capable.  That’s the skill set we expect, and they are the types of people who strive to be the best.  We do have a training bonus that is part of their pay plan.  They get this training bonus as long as they attend 4 hrs per quarter.  They are able to choose online or in person seminars.  It’s a significant bonus so they seem to not mind going to training.

    1 user liked this post.
    May 30, 2019 at 11:00 am #89769
    Tom Schmitzer

    That is a great idea. Thank you for that.

    May 31, 2019 at 3:48 pm #89829
    Rick White

    To determine if your staff should be paid for attending training, you have to meet 4 criteria.

    1. The training outside of the employee’s regular working hours.
    2. Attendance to the training is voluntary.
    3. The course, lecture, or meeting is NOT directly related to the employee’s job.
    4. The employee does NOT perform any productive work while attending the training.

    If you can answer yes to ALL four of these statements, then they can attend training unpaid. If you answered no to ANY of these statements, then they are entitled to compensation for the training. You can have a training rate which is lower than their regular rate as long as it’s above minimum wage with overtime. (FLSA 29 CFR 785.27)

    Hope this helps

    Rick White


    June 4, 2019 at 9:36 am #89925
    Randy Lucyk

    Thanks Rick

    Still some conflicting info out there


    page 7, shows exactly what you are saying, other then i could find no reference to the lower training rate.

    also quotes federal law and the final paragraph states:

    When Employees Enroll in Classes or Training at Their Own Initiative
    The FLSA regulations also address both training that employees enroll in of their own accord and special employer-offered courses of which employees may voluntarily take advantage. When an employee enrolls in a course or college program after working hours at his or her own initiative, the time is not compensable even if the coursework is directly related to the employee’s job. Occasionally, an employer will offer a free class or training opportunity after working hours for the benefit of its employees. If attendance is not required and the employee’s participation is voluntary, the time spent in such classes would not be considered hour worked. For the regulations, see here and here.

    This last paragraph also references these two links:

    Little doubt that our industry has used a very broad brush on how they have applied these regulations. I was also left unclear as to the travel time question.


    June 4, 2019 at 10:00 am #89929
    Rick White

    Good Morning, Randy!

    I agree. As with anything having to do with the government, it’s clear as mud. I think the main difference between the two exceptions and my post is the voluntary part of the discussion.

    As an industry, I think we’re way behind the times when it comes to having a development program in place for each team member that has a budget allocated for such training including compensating them for the time they’re in training and based on the sketchy documentation found so far, for their travel time.

    You can pay a lower hourly rate for training as long as it’s been agreed to by both parties before the actual training. Overtime has to be calculated differently as training hours would count towards overtime pay. You’d need to calculate an average hourly rate for the hours worked and then calculate their overtime based on that average.

    There are really two things at play here. First, I believe compensating your team for training would be a HUGE differentiator of your business. Think of how many technicians would jump at working for a shop that paid them for training. Second, I believe the model of offering training at night and on the weekends is outdated and it’s time for it to go away. Your team is tired and they have families. I believe that a shop needs to have a plan where training can be attended during their normal workday which fixes a lot of these issues. I know that some owners will read this and say they can’t lose a tech during the day. My response is this industry needs to start charging appropriately so that there’s a budget that covers this.

    Just my two cents.

    Make it a GREAT day!


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