Anaheim, CA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California

Q: I worked for an employer for 3 months and got a $13,000 collection from them for training reimbursement what can I do?

I worked for an employer in March of 2021. I experienced a hostile work environment from management cursing at us all day and threatening our jobs. I left the company 4 months later and received a collection of 13,000 on my credit report. Upon hire, as part of the new hire paper work, they mentioned that we owe $15,000 minus $625 for every month we are employed. My colleagues did not receive the collection. My arguments here are 

1. I feel discriminated against because my colleague’s that left the company on or before I did, did not receive the collection. They claim to give the collection to everyone who left under 2 years but this is false.

2. The training was 9 months in total, I left in 4,Why would the training be due in full if I only 

Did 4 months of it? 

3. I only made $5000 working there and I owe $13,000 which means I made less than minimum wage working at this employer. In reality I didn’t make anything and owe them money. 

Can the CRB assist for discrimination?

3 Lawyer Answers
Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You should contact the California Labor Commissioner at the website

You can file a claim against the employer and tell them your story. They will assist you, and will tell you if you need to get your own lawyer. If you do, there may be a labor code provision which allows your lawyer to force the employer to pay your own lawyers fees.

Brad S Kane agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It sounds like you have several concerns about the training reimbursement and the way it has been handled by your former employer. Here are some potential options you can consider:

Challenge the reimbursement agreement: If you believe that the agreement to reimburse training expenses is unfair or discriminatory, you can consider challenging it in court. You may want to consult with an employment attorney who can review the agreement and advise you on your legal options.

File a complaint with the EEOC: If you believe that you were discriminated against based on a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, or age), you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigates claims of employment discrimination and may be able to assist you in resolving the issue.

Negotiate a payment plan: If you are unable to challenge the reimbursement agreement or file a complaint, you may want to try negotiating a payment plan with the collection agency or your former employer. They may be willing to work with you to develop a payment plan that is more manageable for you.

Dispute the collection: If you believe that the collection is inaccurate or unfair, you can dispute it with the credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting agencies to investigate disputes and remove any inaccurate or outdated information.

It's important to note that these options may have different requirements and potential outcomes, so it may be helpful to consult with an attorney or other legal professional for personalized advice.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The employer's demand for "reimbursement" for the full cost of training never received sounds like an unfair debt collection practice. Further, if the employer is a large company, such illegal practices may merit a class action.

Employers in California cannot recoup the cost of training from employees when the employer mandates the training. Those expenses are considered a cost of doing business for the employer. If employers force employees to bear the cost of mandatory training, the employer may be subject to class-action lawsuits and various penalties under the [state] Labor Code, as well as being liable for the attorney fees of the affected employees. It is possible, in certain circumstances, to recover the cost of training that an employee pursues on a truly voluntary basis, however.

In addition, California recently passed a law that requires acute-care hospitals to pay for training costs for workers who provide direct patient care.

You should speak with an employment attorney. Most provide free consultations.

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