This particular issue was addressed by a California court in USS-Posco Industries v. Case which upheld a summary judgment in favour of the employer who sought reimbursement when a worker left the workplace only two months after the completion of the employer-sponsored training program. USS-Posco Industries (UPI) has faced a shortage of technical electricity maintenance (MTE) personnel. To solve this problem, UPI has implemented a voluntary learninger program to train current employees in MTEs. The Learner program was a three-year training program that, after passing the exam, would fill one of MTE`s vacancies. Staff members who participated in the program had to enter into a reimbursement agreement stating that, in the event of a voluntary termination of the employment contract, they would reimburse UPI within 30 months of the end of the program. At the end of the day, it is the employers who themselves decide to take over the compensation requirements for training. The answer is complex and the case law is different. In USS POSCO Industries v. Floyd Case, an employer received a portion of the training fee – US$28,000 – and $80,000 in legal fees. The case involved a beginner who initiated voluntary training to advance his career.
He enrolled in paid business training that included 135 weeks of courses, 90 weeks of on-the-job training and 45 weeks of courses. If you are trying to adopt refund agreements, there are a few important things to consider. In summary, an employer has compensated (reimburses) employees for expenses related to the business that are carried out on behalf of the employer. However, when a worker voluntarily enters into an agreement on his or her own benefit, the employer may, in limited cases, require the employee to reimburse the employer if all the conditions of the benefit are not met. Employers should exercise caution in this area. Only in these limited circumstances would a worker be required to compensate the employer. The obligation is almost always reversed, since the employer is obliged to compensate the employee. Nevertheless, employers have certain rights and, if properly documented in an enforceable agreement, may require employees to meet their legitimate commitments and conditions. This „training” factor can be particularly important, says Sam Caucci, CEO and founder of 1Huddle, a platform for worker training. In particular, when a staff member receives certifications that may be useful elsewhere, it may be helpful to get a refund. But agreements must be drafted correctly to survive the courts.
„You can`t see that the employee is being penalized, but only to compensate the employer,” he noted. „Generally speaking, it is unusual and very difficult to recoup the training costs of an employee who leaves the company shortly after participating in the training,” said Don Schroeder, partner at Foley-Lardner, warning that the fight would be tough for most employers. USS-POSCO Industries v.