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I was recently hired for a job located just a few short minutes from me. This company wants to bring me in to their headquarters for training located a couple of hours away. They have informed me that they will pay for my food and hotel room expenses during my time there. The training itself is going to be scheduled as 8-hour shifts spread out for the several days I'm out there.

Coincidentally, my significant other found out she will be getting time off during the time I'll be up there for training. I would like to bring her up with me but I'm concerned on whether this would be considered inappropriate. I know that it is not uncommon to bring your significant other along on business trips, but I do not know if these same rules apply for a company I have not started working for yet.

Would it be considered inappropriate to ask management if I could bring my significant other with me on this trip so long as pays for her own meals?

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I have two different answers depending on whether you are an employee of the company during the trip.

Answer 1: You will be an employee on the trip.

It depends.

Politely and casually ask someone what to expect on this trip. You could ask your new boss, the recruiter or a new co-worker, whoever you are comfortable asking. Find out are they expecting that you meet with people at headquarters socially outside of the training sessions so that you can get to know each other. Also understand the culture, is the company family oriented and would actually like to meet your spouse. Then decide if your spouse should come depending if you think she will be welcome and not a distraction. Tell her what you found out so that she can also decide if she is comfortable coming if she will be expected to meet your new managers and co-workers.

If the only expectation is that you attend the training sessions then what you do in your own time is none of their business. Get a separate room and you don't even have to tell them she is there. Do be aware however that if the training is challenging you may want to study in the evenings and may not be good company for her.

Answer 2: You won't be an employee on the trip.

Both of you should not go.

The company wants you to work for free. Make sure you are clear with them that you will be happy to attend the training when you are an employee. If they are inflexible about this then you don't want to work there.

(I am writing this based on the norms of the United States).

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