You've just been hired to work in a coffee shop. Before putting you behind the counter, your new employer wants you to read four manuals explaining how the different coffee machines work, learn the coffee shop's recipes by heart, and spend two evenings watching other employees work.
Being Paid While Training
The rule is simple: employers have to pay their employees for all the hours they ask them to work.
The law says that the hours you spend training, that is, learning how to do the job, are working hours. This is the case whether the training takes place on the job, in a classroom, or even while reading at home. But you'll be paid only if your employer asks you to do the training, not if you decide to do it on your own.
The same rule applies if you have to work for a "trial period." During a trial period, the employer evaluates you before deciding whether to give you the job.
There is no such thing as "required volunteering" at work.
Your employer must pay you back for the costs of any training you're asked to do, as long as the costs are reasonable. Travel expenses are an example of reasonable costs.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.