Training Repayment Agreements: What You Need to Know

Nov 6 2023

Amanda DeMatteis: Hi, Josh.

Josh Goodbaum: Hi, Amanda. What are we talking about today?

DeMatteis: I thought we would talk about an article that I saw in The New York Times a couple weeks back. This is an APRN [advanced practice registered nurse] out in California who left her employer, and her employer sued her seeking damages under a training repayment agreement, essentially saying, “Hey, while you were here, we trained you, we spent money to train you. Now you’ve left. We want that money back.” Is this legal in Connecticut? Tell us about it.

Goodbaum: Training repayment agreements are not things we see as frequently as non-competes or non-solicits, which we’ve talked about a lot in our videos, but they do exist and it’s important that Connecticut employees know this: Connecticut is one of the very few states in the country that has a law that specifically addresses training repayment agreements.

The law is at 31-51r, as in rodeo, of the Connecticut General Statutes. It was passed in 1985, and it says that an employer with 26 or more employees cannot force an employee to repay any costs if that employee leaves their employment. And this is true even if those costs are supposed to be reimbursement for training costs that the employer incurred in getting the employee up to speed. There are a few exceptions to this prohibition, but they’re very narrow.

So, if you work in Connecticut and you leave a job, and your employer gets in touch with you and says, “Hey, you owe us money, you need to pay it back,” you should have a look at 31-51r. And you should think about making a complaint to the Connecticut Department of Labor or talking with an employment lawyer. And you should definitely do that before you just write your employer a check because you think that’s what the law requires.

DeMatteis: Interesting stuff. I’m glad we live in Connecticut. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for watching. Take care.

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amanda dematteis discussing training repayment agreements

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