A: According to BLR legal editors, there is no federal law that would prohibit an employer from requiring an exempt employee to attend a training session over a weekend, especially where the training is necessary for the employee to perform the job.
However, the company should consider any union contract, individual employment contract, or policy regarding hours of employment that might restrict its right to require this employee to work the extra hours.
In addition, this employee should not be singled out for treatment that is different from that of other employees in the same situation or job. Disparate treatment could result in claims of discrimination.
The fact that the employee was given a month’s notice means that she had time to make childcare arrangements. If the company intends to terminate the employee in the event she refuses to attend the training, it might be a good idea to let her know that refusal to attend would result in termination.
It might also be a good idea to consult an employment attorney for specific legal advice if the company has concerns about discrimination charges or its rights to require the weekend training in your state.