Is there a difference if professional training is voluntary versus involuntary?

If an employee is mandated to attend a training related to his/her individual job, the training is considered involuntary and the employee must be paid for the time. According to the Department of Labor, training is not work time if all four of the following criteria are met:
  • Training is outside of working hours, and
  • Training is voluntary, and
  • Training is not directly related to the job, and
  • The employee has no productive work during attendance.
If all four of the above criteria are met, then the training would be considered voluntary and the employee would not be paid.