Can my employer require me to pay back training costs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer require me to pay back training costs?

My employer is in new jersey, but I am in Virginia. I had signed a training agreement with the stipulations that I would work for them for a year or have a specified fine to reimburse training costs. After working with them for a few months, I’ve become very uncomfortable with their business practices, and would like to get out. Some facts about the contract are that most of the training was provided in house, by their own trainer. He is available for all employees to take advantage of if they need help the contract does itemize what the training was and their cost. The training was for general skills not specific to the employer but they required the training in order to be hired.

Asked on August 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The "details" about the training do not matter: all that matters are the terms of the agreement you signed. In signing it, you contractually obligated yourself to its terms--i.e. you have to do whatever it says. Based on what you write, that means if you leave before the year is up, you will have to pay the specified amount to them. Contractual cases like this are very clear: if you don't comply, they can sue you and will very likely (indeed, almost certainly) win and get a court judgment against you for the money.
It also does not matter that you had to undergo the training to be hired: you could have chosen to not sign and seek other employment. In choosing to sign to get this job, you bound yourself to the contract.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption