Kate Rigby, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Boston office, was quoted in Inc. Magazine, in “Training Repayment Agreements: What Employers Need to Know for 2024,” by Sarah Lynch.

Following is an excerpt:

Employee retention is an understandable stressor for companies, says Kate Rigby, partner at the law firm Epstein Becker and Green: "Hiring new employees can be really expensive, especially in this current time where there was a lot of turnover." …

Additionally, business leaders should be careful about how they seek repayment if such an agreement is broken by an employee, Rigby adds. If an employer seeks repayment only when an employee leaves for a competitor, that could trigger a noncompete argument--which, with the proposed rule from the FTC, could become even more fraught.

Thus, "it's best practice to have consistency across your program" for enforcement, Rigby says.  …

If a training program is required, companies should let candidates know about repayment as early as possible--in the first interview or even in the job description, Rigby says: "It also takes away this argument that they didn't know that they had to do it or they felt forced to do it. They took the time to review it in advance of accepting that role."  

But there are ways to handle this well: For instance, if the employer publicly shares the details of the voluntary offering and the terms of repayment to the team, inviting employees to take part, that's usually well received. ... Additionally, offering more "portable" and affordable training will help employees see the benefits for themselves as well as for the company, and they'll be more inclined to partake, Rigby adds. …

Additionally, employers should consider which benefits they are hoping to see from this training repayment and determine "whether executing and enforcing the agreements will actually attain those desired results," Rigby says. 

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