Partner Don Schroeder is quoted in an HR Dive
article, “When an employee leaves, can you recoup their training costs?
” about the enforceability of employee training reimbursement agreements against employees who leave the job before the employer realizes any benefit from their training.
Schroeder said enforcing such an agreement would be an uphill battle for many employers. “Generally speaking, it is unusual and very difficult to recoup the training costs expended on behalf of an employee who departs the company shortly after participating in the training session,” he said.
In most cases, Schroeder added, employers do not pursue any recovery, primarily because state laws generally do not allow for any set-off for any final wages that may be due an employee. “The only preventative way to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws is to either insert a specific provision in an offer letter (with an acknowledgement from the employee) which requires repayment of the training costs in an amount certain if the employee leaves the company within a certain time period, or create a one page agreement at the time the employee participates in the training program which contains the repayment obligation and ‘set-off’ for any final compensation” he said.