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Government looking into employers who are charging ex-workers for training they received

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Posted at 2:30 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 15:35:05-05

Millions of Americans quit their jobs during the great resignation, and now some companies are billing former workers for training they got on the job.

Government agencies have received several complaints about it, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into it.

Legal experts say a bill like this can make sense if a company paid for you to get a certain license or the training was something you needed to qualify for other jobs. But it can be questionable beyond that.

“And if an employer is imposing on an employee, an obligation to undergo training that's really of no use to them anywhere else and expecting them to pay, then there are questions about transparency and the obligation,” said Laura Lawless, an attorney at Squire Patton Boggs.

One woman told Reuters a salon charged her $1,900 after she quit even though she was experienced and had all her licensing when she was hired.

She also argues that the training she got was poor quality and specific to the shop. Government action in cases like this could have a big impact on the job market.

“I think we should expect to see an overall government enforcement from a variety of different agencies on unfair labor practices,” Lawless said. “This continues a trend on the consumer side of things that we saw started when the Federal Trade Commission was looking into the gig economy and potential abuses of workers.”

“I think there's also going to be more information provided to employees, especially if they're in connection with unions, or you need organizing efforts to file complaints,” Lawless added.