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Old 09-11-2017, 09:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Legality or requiring employees to "volunteer"

Ok so first facts:

* I'm in Michigan
* The employer (We'll call them QL...) REQUIRES a min 4 hours of unpaid "volunteering" during the weekend to graduate their training.
*Every employee working within the family of businesses was required to do this.



So I guess my question is. How is this legal? My graduating team was roughly 100 people, to me that means 400 hours of unpaid work alone.

I mean in the end, it's not much, but as it would be added overtime, my 5.5 hours on a holiday weekend would/should have been $93 roughly (as every week is required OT anyway).



Just curious on thoughts I guess. Is it worth poking the uppers? I just think it's not ok to require "volunteering" and not pay it (Highly encouraging is a different story, but this is needed within a certain time period or you can be let go).

-Cassie
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Far from being some employment law expert, I would suggest that you likely signed an agreement saying you would as part of your employment package. There are many things that are illegal to do without your knowing, but perfectly legal if you signed saying it was ok.

For instance. I worked for a tool company that it was required to work over 60 hours a week. After 60, we got paid "Chinese Overtime", actually a cut in pay, for those hours. In spite of it being an illegal practice to use on regular time employees, since we were on salary and had agreed to it in contract we had no recourse. The funny part was, it was the whole "oh we do this to keep people from sitting on the clock" "will never happen"...to being an employee or two short and you and your asst working all those leftover hours free...or lose your job.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You can sign away some rights, but just because it's in a contract does not necessarily make it valid - there are some things they cannot force you to give up, even if you sign something that says so. It varies from state to state, so you'd need to talk to an employment/workers' rights lawyer in your area to know for sure what is or isn't kosher.

Source: conversations with my mom's boss, who is a workers' comp lawyer in Virginia and knows things.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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From what I've seen in my limited view the companies involved in communities or that take public relations seriously have community service in their agreements. Most of what I've actually seen is voluntary but with a small company they may "require" it if that aligns with their goals or vision.

I think the line is if it is a burden or not.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is it union related?
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quit that ****, **** them
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Causing a fuss for a total of 4 hours? I assume this is 4 hours total, and it isn't 4 hours every week/month/year etc?

Doesn't make it particularly right, but no need for a crusade.

Note: It's my opinion, you don't have to like it :-P
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I got paid training in one place, didn't like it (didn't suit my principles) and quit before I actually started >:D

EDIT
If a place requires you to volunteer time, what that is actually is that its an involuntary obligation as part of the terms of your employment there and that they do not respect your time

If a place wants me to sit still in a certain place for any amount of time, they are paying me to sit still in that one place -- I got things to do man and my time is more valuable than what I'm being paid anywhere
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scougar View Post
Causing a fuss for a total of 4 hours? I assume this is 4 hours total, and it isn't 4 hours every week/month/year etc?

Doesn't make it particularly right, but no need for a crusade.

Note: It's my opinion, you don't have to like it :-P
I dunno about you, but I have a second job. Time unpaid means I missed a work opportunity elsewhere (especially as volunteering was from 2-7:30).
Right now, everything counts. Med bills, tuition, house payment, etc.


Thus why I'm a little steamed. 4 -required- hours, but the times aren't at 4 hour intervals.

Just annoyed, that's a school bill for the month paid.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just throwing this out there, but its not volunteer work if its mandatory. It likely has more to do with them gaining compliance. Let me guess, you can select from a few different options they offer you?
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