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(1) General. Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time if the following four criteria are met:

(a) Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;

(b) Attendance is in fact voluntary;

(c) The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and

(d) The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

(2) Involuntary attendance. Attendance is not voluntary. Of course, if it is required by the employer. It is not voluntary in fact if the employee is given to understand or led to believe that his present working conditions or the continuance of his employment would be adversely affected by nonattendance.

(3) Training directly related to employee's job. The training is directly related to the employee's job if it is designed to make the employee handle his job more effectively as distinguished from training him for another job, or to a new or additional skill. For example, a stenographer who is given a course in stenography is engaged in an activity to make her a better stenographer. Time spent in such a course given by the employer or under his auspices is hours worked. However, if the stenographer takes a course in bookkeeping, it may not be directly related to her job. Thus, the time she spends voluntarily in taking such a bookkeeping course, outside or regular working hours, need not be counted as working time. Where a training course is instituted for the bona fide purpose of preparing for advancement through upgrading the employee to a higher skill, and is not intended to make the employee more efficient in his present job, the training is not considered directly related to the employee's job even though the course incidentally improves his skill in doing his regular work.

(4) Independent training. Of course, if an employee on his own initiative attends an independent school, college or independent trade school after hours, the time is not hours worked for his employer even if the courses are related to his job.

(5) Special situations. There are some special situations where the time spent in attending lectures, training sessions and courses of instruction is not regarded as hours worked. For example, an employer may establish for the benefit of his employees a program of instruction which corresponds to courses offered by independent bona fide institutions of learning. Voluntary attendance by an employee at such course outside of working hours would not be hours worked even if they are directly related to his job or paid for by the employer.

(6) Apprenticeship training. As an enforcement policy, time spent in an organized program of related, supplemental instruction by employees working under bona fide apprenticeship programs may be excluded from working time if the following criteria are met:

(a) The apprentice is employed under a written apprenticeship agreement or program which substantially meets the fundamental standards of the bureau of apprenticeship and training of the U.S. department of labor and the apprenticeship and training bureau of the Montana department of labor and industry; and

(b) Such time does not involve productive work or performance of the apprentice's regular duties. If the above criteria are met the time spent in such related supplemental training shall not be counted as hours worked unless the written agreement specifically provides that it is hours worked. The mere payment or agreement to pay for time spent in related instruction does not constitute an agreement that such time is hours worked.

History: Sec. 39-3-402, MCA; IMP, Sec. 39-3-404 & 39-3-405, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72.

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