Should an employee have to reimburse their employer for mandatory training?

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Should an employee have to reimburse their employer for mandatory training?

My company repairs aircraft. They must acquire a license from the aircraft manufacturer in order to perform maintenance. The manufacturer requires a minimal amount of manufacturer trained personnel. My company has asked me to attend this training but I must sign an agreement to pay back the costs involved should I leave the company within 2 years. Come time for layoffs, trained personnel will stay. How is this legal?

Asked on August 8, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is completely legal.

Companies may require employees to have certain credentials or training to have jobs or be employed. They aren't required to pay for the training or education at all--for example, many jobs in finance require an MBA or CPA and the employer doesn't pay for that, and many IT jobs require that employees get certifications or training at their own cost. If the company chooses to pay for training for an employee, the company may put conditions on that training, such as that the  employee will repay the cost thereof if the employee leaves before a certain amount of time has passed. Repayment agreements for company-paid education or training are actually fairly common.


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