My employer paid for my training, I quit and now they want me to pay it back can they do this?

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My employer paid for my training, I quit and now they want me to pay it back can they do this?

I was told upon hire that if I passed my training I wouldnt have to pay for it. A few months down the line, I decided I no longer wanted to work for this company. There was no mention of having to pay back the training if there was a separation. After having quit, my employer has taken the training cost out of my last check. Is this legal, epecially without written or verbal contract?

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, this is illegal:
1) While an employee can be required to repay training costs after a voluntary separation from work, this requires that the employee voluntarily agreed to do this. There would have had to have been an agreement entered into *before* the training, but you indicate this is not the case.
2) Even if an employee did owe his or her employer money, the employer may *not* take it out of the paycheck unless the employee agrees to let them do this--but you did not. Employers can only withhold money from paychecks with employee consent or as ordered by a court or the IRS (e.g. wage garnishment).
If the employer will not pay you what you are entitled to, you could sue them for the money. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se" to save on legal fees, is an excellent option.


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