Trainee, Student, or Apprentice

Whether trainee, students, or apprentices are employees depends upon their job activities.

If you are a Trainee or Student, you are not due overtime pay if all of the following apply to you:

  1. Training is similar to what you would be taught at a vocational school;
  2. Training is for the benefit of the trainee or student;
  3. Trainees or students do not replace regular employees, but work under close supervision;
  4. There is no benefit to the employer who gives the training and sometimes the employer may even be at a loss;
  5. The trainees or students are not getting a job at the conclusion of the training period; and,
  6. The employer and the trainees or students understand that they are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

If you are an “Apprentice,” then you might not be due overtime pay or minimum wage law requirements. Some employees learn a trade through on-the-job training and additional classroom training usually held outside of working hours.

Time spent in this type of training does not have to be paid if:

  1. The apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which meets government standards; and,
  2. The training time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice’s regular duties.

An informal agreement to treat the time spent in related instruction as hours worked does not meet this requirement. The agreement that the time spent is hours worked must be in writing. Check with an attorney if you are not sure if your agreement meets the requirement or not.

For detail about employer abuses, see Trainee, Student & Apprentice at