Can my employer go to collections on money given to me for schooling if there is no written agreement that I would pay him back if I didn’t finish school?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer go to collections on money given to me for schooling if there is no written agreement that I would pay him back if I didn’t finish school?

Part of the agreement of my employment at my previous job was that every year I would have my night school tuition covered by my employer I was at this company for almost 3 years then I decided to go for a job in the field I was going to school for, before the end of the school year. So he asked me to pay him back and I verbally agreed and he stated he would give me a year to pay it off and to pay what I could, I was fine with this until I got my final paycheck and my employer helped himself to 100% without my permission. So I decided that I’m not going to pay the rest. He has since repeatedly sent bill’s every month increasing in increments of $5 trying to collect since the original bill from 7 months ago.

Asked on June 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement between you and he as to repaying this money, you both must honor the agreement: he could not take money from your paycheck without your consent or permission; but also, you have to pay the full amount. He also cannot get more than you agreed to pay, but you can't refuse to pay the balance either. It is strongly advised that you and he work out something voluntarily between the two of you to resolve this situation, since otherwise, if one of you sues the other (e.g. him or his collections agency suing you, for the unpaid balance), you'll likely end up with something like the original agreement, anyway.

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