When “try out” time needs to be paid under California law

When hiring an employee, employers need to be mindful that any tests of the employee’s skills during the hiring process does not cross the line to become actual work that the applicant must be paid for.  Employers sometimes will ask applicants to demonstrate their food preparation skills in a restaurant setting, handling tools in a manufacturing setting, or typing skills in the office setting.  This Friday’s Five covers five issues employers should review to make sure that “try out” time or “staging” does not become work must be paid for: 1. As long as the time is not training the applicant, but is truly testing their skills the time does not need to be paid. California Wage Orders define “hours worked” as “the time during which an employee is subject to the control of an employer.” Cal.Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11040(2)(K). This includes “the time the employee is suffered or permitted to…

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