Friend got laid off from Collaborative Solutions today. She obtained Workday certifications while employed there. They are requesting her to pay back the cost (6K) of the certifications. Advice?

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California law:
If, however, an employee was required to make expenditures in order to perform his or her job, the employer would not be able to recoup these expenses from the employee – even if the employee signed a contract agreeing to reimburse the employer. An example offered by the court is In Re Acknowledgement Cases, in which Los Angeles police officers who quit their jobs after less than five years on the force were required to reimburse the city for their training costs. The policy was ruled impermissible at court, because the officers were required to undergo the trainings.

likehelpful

Quick google search on recent California cases rendered the following:

“In Los Angeles, a 4th District Court of Appeal​ panel issued an unpublished opinion in 2015 that former police officers who left the LAPD could not be compelled to reimburse the city for their training. Because the city instituted a training program more extensive and costlier than minimum certification, it became an employer-mandated expense the City, not officers, should carry, the panel concluded. The reimbursement contract was deemed unenforceable.”

When I looked at your offer letter, it was clear that Workday training is indeed employer-mandated training for this job. And there is a legal precedence in California (your state!) with the case I just cited that supports you :)

"Generally speaking, it is unusual and very difficult to recoup the training costs expended on behalf of an employee who departs the company shortly after participating in the training session," Don Schroeder, partner at Foley & Lardner, said, warning that it would be an uphill battle for most employers.

So in conclusion, tell them to fly a kite and focus your time on more important things like getting a new job!

Stay safe!

likehelpful

Not familiar with the above case, but be aware that different standards apply to government bodies. Still think there’s a strong case that this is not enforceable when terminated for a reason not related to performance.

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Don’t pay back.

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Duces

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I need this mug

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Their approach doesn’t sound like a very... wait for it... Collaborative Solution.

likefunny

Did she ever sign anything in the offer letter, or otherwise, obligating herself to repay the cost of the training if she left within a certain period?

If no, she can probably request her former employer to fck off

likeuplifting

And even then... Wouldn't that be only for voluntarily leaving?

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That’s a hard no

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"Kick rocks"

-signed, employee who left not by choice

likefunny

Wow. As someone part of the workday ecosystem, just wanted to say I’m very sorry :( I’ve been contacted by CS before about jobs and will think twice before entertaining a call with them once this all subsides.

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Since they let go of their recruiters, too - I think you won’t have to worry about that.

funny

I’d seek legal counsel. If you quit, that makes sense. Let go? Doesn’t sound right.

likesmart

I was looking at this firm at one point. Thanks for highlighting their true colors.

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its a game of musical chairs right mow unfortunately. if you’re not billable you’re cut. also collaborative has always been shady. avoid this firm.

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Nope. She was utilized across multiple projects.

This is state specific as well as contract dependent. The agreements that I have seen usually spell out The terms as voluntary versus involuntary payback. And in this case most likely the contract will spell out the reimbursement is not due to the company. Good luck!

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This is great because people who live in TX don’t want people from CA moving here. (Ironically, I’m from CA)

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My response:

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likefunny

Remind them of their values

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likefunny

Love when companies tout their "values" during recruiting events. It makes me giggle because they probably paid a marketing firm to get values. Silly silly silly world we live in.

likefunny

If they ask to sign ANY documents, do not sign anything. They can't force you. If they refuse your last paycheck, tell them you're putting a complaint in to local labor office, and "my employment attorney will be in touch"

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I'd tell them, "sure! As soon as you give me 18K bonus that I would have received had I stayed at my last job"

funny

A smaller firm I worked for a decade ago had a clause in our training agreements that said if we left the firm, either voluntarily or involuntarily, within a year of completing a training (cert/conference/etc) that the firm paid for, we owed the full amount paid. If you left before 2 years, you owed half of the amount paid.

I got laid off about 18 months after I completed a training course they paid for and they tried to get me for half the training fee. I got them to agree to lower it to 25%, which ate up my PTO payout, but couldn't get them to waive it entirely.

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Very well could be.

I was young and naive enough, not to mention pretty much in shock from the sudden layoff that came out of the blue, to not seek a legal opinion on it.

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Company is unable to self cure in California. Aka they can’t with hold the $5K from your last paycheck or PTO. They’d need to sue you to collect the money. Good luck to them with that.

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Have her look at the website Do Not Pay. Robo lawyer service, $3 a month. Very pro consumer.

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