Mandatory Team Building Trip

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    • #3956

      My employer is merging with another company and has a mandatory weekend trip coming up that includes meetings to discuss the new organization’s vision and processes, team competitions, and some mix & mingle time.

      What all of this time is considered “Hours Worked”?
      Note that all employees are non-exempt, hourly employees and the trip is mandatory for all employees.
      Transportation is via charter bus, but some employees will be meeting the bus en route. So travel time is as a passenger (only time 8-5 is counted), except for the drive to the meeting place (travel time driving is counted as time worked)

      I know any activities prior to 5:00 pm on Friday are “Time Worked”. (normal work hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm) Travel time back on Sunday that falls during normal work hours is also counted.

      Meeting discussing the future of the company are also “Hours Worked” since they are mandatory meetings.

      But what about the Team Building Competitions? They have been presented as mandatory.

      Or group dinners and mingle times? These have also been presented as mandatory.

      Only 2 events on the itinerary are listed as Optional.


    • #3957

      There are two ways to look at this:

      One would be the strictly legal way regarding how much of the weekend will be compensated and then what remedy there might be if the compensation comes up short of where you think it should be.

      The other would be to look at what can be gained from the trip or, taking the contrary position, what future would you have with the company if you disputed the amount of compensation.

      I don’t think, as a lawyer, I would be trying to apply federal and/or Louisiana law to this fact situation because I don’t think there would be any clear answers. I’m speaking from personal experience here.

    • #3958

      Thanks Bassmaster.

      At this point I’m trying for figure out where to set my expectations.
      The hope is that with the merger, some things will change for the better.

      Getting them to pay correctly has been an on going issue over the past 3 years.
      The good thing is that disputing the company decisions hasn’t resulted in any adverse actions that I am aware of, and has on some occasions resulted in positive changes for the employees.
      I don’t believe the owners have ill intent in their decisions, it’s just that one of them is extremely cheap and none of them seem to be knowledgeable about wage laws.

      Being a small company with three owners presents it own challenges. As it has grown from 6 employees when I started 3 years ago to over 15 pre-merger there have been some serious learning curves. Now going to about 30 employees and 6 owners I’m reluctantly hopeful.

      This event and how they respond to some issue that will be brought up during the event will determine how some of the most senior employees proceed career wise.

      Should they decide to not pay for any travel or meeting time, that would show no appreciation or respect for the employees.
      Doing the minimum would reflect a minimum appreciation, or going above and beyond would reflect appreciation above and beyond.

      I guess that turned into more of a rant, but so be it.
      Three years is a long time to live on promises without little progress.

      If any one else has any thought, it would greatly help me set my minimum expectations.


    • #4058

      You can read this for general info that might apply: general travel info

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