Can an employer recoup

My now former employer just recouped $900 from my final check for

Asked on June 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this is legal. You signed an agreement that you would repay the cost, pro rated over a two-year period, and you may be held to that agreement.
Employers can set the terms and conditions for work: that is part of "employment at will," which is the law in this country. (There is no right to a job.) They can terminate you if you won't comply, giving you the choice between agreeing to what they want or else losing your job: that is also part of employment at will. You can decide to quit or resign rather than do what they ask you to do: this, too, is also part of employment at will. The employer decides what you have to do or agree to in order to have or keep a job; you decide if you are willing to do that, in order have the job, or if you will say "no" and give up the job. If you agree to do what they asked--e.g. if you sign an agreement to repay training costs--you are then contractually obligated to what you agreed to do. 
So yes, in this case, they can recoup the training costs, even if they were mandatory for your position.

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