Over-Time For After Hours Meetings?

Question Ask the Workplace Doctors about pay for meetings after hours:

Just wondered if anyone had the same problem with meetings scheduled at 5:00 or after clinic hours each month. The time we spend in the meeting is not paid as overtime, but must flex our time the same week. If an employer schedules meetings after work hours shouldn’t this be paid as overtime? Some meetings are mandatory but we must attend 9 out of 12 per year in order to avoid a decrease in our yearly raises. I also thought mandatory meetings were illegal, especially when after our 8 hours are worked. Thank you.

Signed, After Hours

Dear After Hours:

Many companies do require employees to attend staff and/or in-service meetings. Because they are required attendance, they are “on the clock.” That is why the company requires the employee to take the time off, usually before the meeting so as not to go into overtime, which is more than 40 hours per week. This practice is very common in the health care industry. Overtime is not earned when working more than eight hours in one day.

Mandatory meetings are not illegal. I know of a company that holds a required two-hour meeting at 6a.m. on Sunday morning. The work day begins at 8a.m. on Sunday. If you are not scheduled to work that day, you have traveled the same distance for only two hours of required meeting time. The attendance of 9 of 12 meeting is simply a criteria which your company has established along with many more, I am sure, which must be meet in order to receive the wage/salary increase. When employees and employers work together for mutual goals, greater results are accomplished. To think WEGO is to identify with both those who manage and those managed.

Gerald Allen, Guest Respondent with HR experience