February 2023
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TD Magazine


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Employer-provided training courses and programs can have many benefits. Employers often have required training for employees, especially new hires, and research shows that many employees welcome training opportunities. However, not all training offerings come without strings attached.

Some employers are establishing training repayment agreement provisions (TRAPs)—agreements through which employers provide training in exchange for employees remaining with the company. Should a worker leave before a specified period of time, they must reimburse their employer for the training. In a Reuters article, Jonathan Harris, who teaches at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, says, "Employers are looking for ways to keep their workers from quitting without raising wages or improving working conditions."


In 2020, almost 10 percent of US workers were covered by such an agreement, according to the Cornell Survey Research Institute. Opposition to TRAPs has been growing recently. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is evaluating his options to introduce a bill this year to rein in TRAPs. LIkewise, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began looking into TRAPs last year, while the US Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission received complaints about the practice.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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