should a resigning employee have to reimburse us for costs of a future conference he signed up for?

A reader writes:

I manage a small software development team in a larger company. We have a modest conference allowance for each person in our department, usable by each employee in whichever way they see fit (with veto input from me, their manager. We don’t want to pay for them to go to surfing conference in Hawaii, as nice as that would be). There is no official policy that surrounds this but it works pretty well in practice.

This is positioned as a perk to encourage programmers to learn more about our language and framework or go to something new and report back, and also as recruiting. A few months ago, a programmer signed up for a conference that takes place a few months from now, in another state that would require airfare and hotel, and booked it under his name, as you would expect.

He just submitted his two week notice.

My boss, the director, wants him to reimburse us for the cost of the plane ticket, conference ticket, and pre-paid hotel, as all are non-transferrable. The programmer has refused, as he signed up for the conference in good faith, and would be happy to transfer the conference ticket and pre-paid hotel reservation back to the organization and let us deal with it (since they’re non transferrable though, we can’t really do anything with them). The plane ticket can only be partially refunded, due to change fees and the like.

I’m stuck in the middle. We don’t have an explicit policy that states the programmer would have to repay this debt, but my boss is putting a lot of pressure on me to get the money from the outgoing employee. What should I do? What is common in this situation? It feels like we should just chalk this up as a cost of doing business without a policy, but I don’t have any experience in this situation to know for sure.

(A follow up question just for my education: how would this change if he were being fired instead?)

Yep, you’re right and your boss is wrong. This is a cost of doing business. What if the employee had, say, bought a one-year subscription to a business journal to help him do his job better? Would your boss want him to pay for the months remaining on the subscription?

Point out to your boss that what he’s proposing would discourage people from ever signing up for anything more than a month or so out, because they won’t want to be on the hook for the cost in case their circumstances change. Also point out that this is a normal cost of doing business that he’s attempting to shift to employees, and that doing that will be really bad for employee relations and people’s morale.

Sometimes stuff happens that isn’t ideal. There are plenty of costs linked to employee decisions that employers don’t like (like the costs of preparing for a new employee who backs out of the job two days before starting, or having to pay unemployment benefits for a fired employee who put in no effort), but they’re still normal costs of doing business.

As for the question you asked about whether this would change if the guy had been fired: All this would be doubly true then (because it would be really reprehensible to expect someone leaving involuntarily to pay fees for doing his job), but the fact that it’s his choice to leave doesn’t mean that he should shoulder the business’s expenses.

Your company offered this benefit, and the employee acted on it in good faith. Now the company needs to act in good faith too.

{ 83 comments… read them below }

  1. EAA*

    You say the registration is not transferable but have you tried reaching out to the conference organization and explain the situation? You may get them to allow you to send another employee instead.

      1. Anonymous*

        Exactly! The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Even though a lot of hotels, conferences advertise a no-refund policy, they tend to buckle if you actually go talk to them and have a decent explanation. They are especially interested in keeping business customers happy.

    1. Meredith*

      Yes! As a frequent conference organizer, I say it doesn’t hurt to explain the situation to the conference staff. If this situation was brought to me by the OP, I would absolutely be willing to transfer a registration fee. Depending on the situation, I would almost certainly be willing to partially or fully refund the registration, especially since the conference won’t happen for a few months.

      I’m surprised that the hotel cost is non-refundable. Most hotels I have dealt with have a cancellation policy that will refund your reservation up to 24 hours before you cancel.

      1. Emily K*

        That’s the typical hotel policy – your card doesn’t even get charged until you stay and you can cancel up til the day before. But quite a few major hotels offer a discount (usually around 10%) if you pay up-front in advance, and those discounted rates are almost always nonrefundable. (IMO the meager savings are rarely worth the inflexibility, especially when it comes to business travel.)

      2. businesslady*

        I’ve also had luck getting refunds for “non-refundable” hotel nights (& train tickets) in extreme circumstances. & in a case like this “we’ll still be using the conference registration/plane ticket/hotel room, but it’ll be under a different person’s name” doesn’t really present any hardship to any of the companies involved.

        so all told I’m pretty optimistic that you could send another employee or else recoup the majority of the travel expenses.

    2. Artemesia*

      I can’t imagine a professional association not being willing to transfer the registration and hotel room to another employee because this one has left the organization. I would be assertive about this.

      Certainly it is inappropriate to ask the employee who is leaving to pay it back.

    3. Anon30*

      Yeah – I completely agree. OP – Have you tried talking to the right person/people? Sometimes it’s just about using the appropriate language to convince and getting the manager/head person.

    4. Terra*

      And really, the company should just have a new employee go (if they want someone else to attend the conference,) with an official statement from the boss on letterhead, noting that they are attending in lieu of the other person.

      Often there’s not even an ID check, so they might try first just saying “I’m picking up Anna Lee’s badge” (as someone’s assistant might do). Then just put a sticker over the old name with their own.

  2. Dan*

    And BTW, *don’t* take this to mean that you should develop a policy that says employees should have to reimburse those costs.

    What AAM didn’t say is that if you book close in, you generally pay more — conference fees generally have an “early bird” discount, airfare typically costs more inside, oh, 21 days or so, you can miss the window for getting the “preferred” conference rate at the hotel, etc.

    Or for that matter, your employees will only book refundable travel itineraries. Have you priced out a full fare (refundable) ticket to just about any destination? They are EXPENSIVE. Like 3x-4x what a “discount” economy ticket would cost.

    If you told me I had to eat costs for a canceled trip, I’d either 1) Not go, or 2) Cover my ass and make you pay. Possibly big time.

    1. bad at online naming*

      Yes, this!

      Also, I’m in software development and was formerly in a niche of it, and almost all the conferences I’ve gone to sell out well before a month in advance, so there’s that to consider as well – waiting to avoid being on the hook if something came up could cause employees to entirely miss the opportunity to go.

    2. Bwmn*

      This is so important to keep in mind. If the message is “go or pay”, it may really escalate in how people think about it when planning to use their time.

  3. AVP*

    Also, have you really called the hotel and the conference and you’re 100% sure that they’re not transferrable or refundable? I manage a lot of travel that changes constantly, and I’ve never seen that, especially this far out. I have seen hotel rates that aren’t refundable (sometimes chain hotels will give you a certain discount if you agree to be locked in), but they’ll change the name on the room if you call and ask (or you can just add a second person’s name to the room, and then it doesn’t matter if Person #1 shows up or not). Getting a human on the line can get you a very different outcome, no matter what their policies may state.

      1. Liz*

        If nothing else, you can always get a refund of the taxes on the air ticket. You may be able to get a refund of all the additional fees and non-fare charges too (that’s where “pleading your case” may come in). They’re normally the bulk of the cost anyway.

    1. Bryan*

      Yeah I was surprised about the hotel and conference.

      I knew the airline wouldn’t but I’m going to refrain from getting on my soap box on how they need to be more flexible.

      1. Arbynka*

        I travel by air a lot, mostly international flights, and I would happily join you on your soap box :)

    2. kyley*

      Also, re: hotels. For a work trip, I once accidentally booked a “non-refundable rate” at a large hotel chain, and then my travel plans changed. When I called the 800 number, and explained the situation, they very nicely cancelled the reservation at no cost.

      It might have helped that I am a rewards member with this chain, and I told them I always stay with them when I travel, but overall they were really nice about it.

    3. Liane*

      Yes., it shouldn’t be a problem to get the name changed. A friend of ours recently did this for a non-business hotel reservation. He had reserved my family’s room as well as his for an event we were all attending. Then, within a week of the check in date, he and I agreed that he would call to see if he could get the second room reservation changed to my name. All it took was the 1 call and we had no problems checking in, not even using a different card than the one it was reserved under.

  4. DogMom*

    And what if the employee couldn’t go because he was in hospital for an emergency? Or if he had died in an accident on his way to ro from work? Would the Big Boss still demand repayemnt? File a claim against the decedent’s estate?

    I agree–this is just a cost of doing business.

    1. LBK*

      Exactly what I was going to say – if the employee couldn’t attend for any other reason like a family emergency or sudden illness, the business probably wouldn’t even consider making him eat the cost.

    2. Editor*

      I also don’t understand why, if this is corporate travel, they don’t have some kind of trip insurance. Maybe the cost of the insurance is too prohibitive or the cost of the conference isn’t high enough to justify the insurance, but before the company changes the handbook, looking into some kind of trip insurance seems more practical, since it would also cover other unexpected contingencies.

  5. Juni*

    … though if you’re still on good terms with the employee, it would probably be fine to request that he send you the presentations, documents, etc. that he might get at the conference. He could just pop them in the mail or load them onto a flash drive. I’d do that if I were on good terms with the organization I was leaving, because it’d seem like the right thing to do.

    1. ChristineSW*

      I thought he wasn’t attending the conference after all. He didn’t say this specifically, but that’s what I gathered from the letter.

  6. Celeste*

    I would sure try to get the hotel and conference transferred, especially since time is on your side here. If all you lose is some money on the plane ticket, that’s not so bad.

    I think it speaks well of the departing employee that he didn’t ask much less assume that he could still take the trip. Because he has been cooperative about giving up the reservations, I think he is owed an apology for being put on the spot to make reimbursement when there was no policy saying he should have to bear that cost. I also don’t think you want that policy, if you want to be someplace that can attract good staff.

    1. OhNo*

      +1 for an apology. I know we don’t have knowledge of all the circumstances in this situation, but it seems like the employee has been perfectly reasonable and professional. Your boss expecting him to eat the cost of the conference, which he would never have seen an expense for if he had stayed, is neither of those things.

      It doesn’t even have to be an “official” apology from the company, or from you as their supervisor. Just add a note to your next communication apologizing for the fuss about reimbursement, and making it clear that you realize it was a little out of line to expect from him. If you want to go the extra mile, you could even let him know that you are going to have a policy drawn up specifically for this situation. It won’t help you keep this employee, but it might make him think more highly of the company, which is never a bad thing.

  7. MousyNon*

    As others have mentioned, demanding the employee pay for this is pretty spiteful of your boss, OP. Employees have to eat costs due to employer-changes all of the time (e.g. the office moves, forcing the employee to pay for a more expensive commute; employer drops or reduces health benefits, forcing employee to pay more out of pocket) and an employee that demanded those things be repaid or compensated would get laughed at by any HR department (and possibly put on the hook for termination).

    Fair is fair, so I’d suggest you tell your boss to eat the costs and move on.

  8. some1*

    This is also the kind of thing gets around and dampens morale amongst the employees who are still there.

    1. Jax*

      “Did you hear they want John to pay for that conference in August??? He’s fighting them about it!”

      When I heard that, I would start to wonder if I really am working for a good company…what’s going to happen to me when I decide to leave…and for sure, don’t sign up for any conferences that I can’t afford to pay back.

      It would also suck any excitement out of the conferences and information I’m supposed to bring back to help the company. I’d look at it as another duty I have to do, and probably just go through the motions. What’s coming up this month? Is it cheap? Okay, I’ll just do that one and get it out of the way.

  9. Ash*

    Really interesting advice here. I’ve been avoiding signing up for conferences and booking travel for events as I am desperately trying to leave this job and don’t want to be in the position of having to back out of those commitments. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about it as much as I have been (especially since it seems like all of my “irons in the fire” have gone out and I’m back to square one in the job search).

    1. KarenT*

      Well, that’s different. If you’re desperately trying to leave your job, you wouldn’t be acting in good faith. You’d be signing up for a conference knowing it was very likely that you will back out.

      1. KarenT*

        Rethinking my comment: Perhaps the fact that you’re back at square one it would be okay if you booked one that wasn’t too far in advance. It’s definitely a grey area for me!

        1. Ash*

          Yea — I’ve been trying for 6 or 7 months at this point and waiting until it’s clear I’ll be an employee still to pay for things. For instance I had a conference in February I spoke at that I waiting until about a month out to book. Right now I have 2 speaking engagements on the other side of the country scheduled for mid-May that I’m debating about booking travel for. I think its also hard because the senior leadership of the org is right now in a “cost-saving” mode and wants us to reduce costs. (On a side note, they think because we’re a 501C3, we’re somehow exempt from taxes on airfare, which is simply not true, and on hotels, which is only true if we have a certificate of exemption from the state to which we are traveling. The ineptitude of my organization is exactly why I need to leave).

          1. LAI*

            Based on this, it sounds more like you are being asked to make these visits based on your current role. In that case, if this is part of your job to do these speaking engagements, then I think you should proceed as you normally would until/unless you have accepted a job offer. In in my other comment below, I thought you were talking about more about professional development opportunities that your employer was offering to pay for.

          2. TychaBrahe*

            If you’re in the US (or a few Caribbean locations) Southwest tickets are completely transferable toward future travel. You can’t get your money back, but at least you get to use it for a future flight.

        2. Mike C.*

          I think the line here is that unless you have an offer, you should still be doing your own job to the best of your ability and circumstances. So if that means continuing training or attending conferences, then that’s part of it. Who knows how long a job search will take, and you can’t put your current job on hold.

          I think the only responsibility you could have is to have a backup plan for when a new offer comes in for transitioning another coworker into your role. It softens the blow and minimizes the disruption.

    2. LAI*

      Ash, I actually think you are doing the right thing by not seeking out conferences and travel, since you are “desperately” trying to leave and are actively job searching. The difference with the OP’s situation is that the employee signed up for the conference in good faith, based on the belief he would be able to go. When you know that you are going to leave as soon as you can, then I think avoiding these kinds of commitments, if you can, will reflect better on you when you do leave. However, if there’s a particular event that your employer is asking you to go to, or if there’s an annual thing that you always go to and it would be weird not to, then I absolutely think you should still plan to go until you have a signed and accepted job offer elsewhere, and not feel guilty about that at all.

    3. The Real Ash*

      I would say that you should go to these events so you could use them for networking purposes. Of course you’d want to be sly about it, but definitely go and increase your knowledge at least!

      1. Ash (the other one!)*

        Some of the events are better than others for this… one of the ones I’m scheduled to go to in May is not really my field but wants someone from my field to speak (vague, yes). I have definitely let my contacts know I’m looking when I’ve seen them at events passed, though.

        P.S. — sorry for stealing your name!

    4. Sunflower*

      Tread lightly here. If you start reducing travel, your company could suspect something is up. My job requires travel and as I’ve been job searching and interviewing, I do worry that I’ll end up with a new position in the middle of scheduled travel. However, if I don’t travel or wait til last minute to schedule, I think my company would suspect something is up or say I’m slacking and have lost interest in the job.

      For that reason, I just swim along as usual and figure if something comes up, I’ll deal with it then.

    5. De Minimis*

      This is a good policy, both from a good faith perspective and a practical perspective—I was cut loose and had a charge for professional dues on a corporate card that I’d made not long beforehand. My former employer had no issue with reimbursing me, but I had to cover it at first and it was a hassle to jump through the various administrative hoops to be paid back. Since then I’ve decided to not purchase or sign up for anything if I have an inkling I might be leaving in the near future.

    1. Jamie*

      Totally. And frankly if the OPs boss finds a way to make him pay for it (which would suck) then they should transfer the tickets and reservations to him immediately.

  10. smartcookie*

    I was the employee in this situation once. Since the class was nontransferrable, my employeret me keep it. I thought. Then and now that it was incredibly classy. It left a great last impression and was as powerful of a recruiting tool as offering the benefit in the first place, since HR and my former manager made it clear that they only wished me well and hoped I would be back someday. Something to consider if recruitment is a stated objective of this policy.

    1. RobM*

      Indeed. In my career I’ve left one job on what might be called bad terms, and even they were classy enough to let me (in fact they insisted after I asked about returning them) keep a laptop and training materials that were given to me to do some training in my own time. This is far enough back that laptops were expensive purchases (Approx £1500) and the training material was worth about £750 in its own right.

  11. Just a Reader*

    I am struggling a little bit with the thought of conferences as a perk. Employees are sent to them with a couple of goals, and professional development benefits the organization. Employers who don’t provide development opportunities are incredibly short sighted.

    But as others have said, the quickest way to make it a pain and not a perk is to be rough on people who quit.

    1. LBK*

      I think it’s a perk because the company doesn’t have any specific ones that they require employees to attend, but they’re happy to sponsor employees who find one they want to go to. A perk is something optional your employer offers beyond what’s required of them. If there were certain conferences that everyone went to every year, I wouldn’t consider that a perk, it would just be part of the job.

  12. Mike C.*

    I know some folks who work for companies with rather abusive reimbursement/payback policies. Stuff like, “if you take our moving package and leave (for any reason at all, including layoff) in 2 years you have to pay it back”. Of course, you have to use their own contracted company and the employer exaggerates the value of the services being rendered, so you’d be up for a bill of tens of thousands to move across country.

    My point OP is this – you don’t want to be that employer and your gut instinct is correct. Your boss is acting out of frustration (at best). People come and people go and if good people are leaving then maybe it’s time for a real wake up call as to why. In any case, do you want this employee to tell everyone else about how cheap your company was to charge him for a conference he didn’t even go to, or do want this employee to say “things didn’t work out, but they were professional about the whole thing”?

    In any case, I’m sure there are folks who would be eager at the chance to move up and prove themselves. Good luck.

    1. Green*

      A moving package that is stated up front and a condition of employment is a little different, particularly because they often include costs that you’d otherwise personally have to bear (which is not the same as a conference).

      1. cat*

        Agreed; however, in my experience, the problem with relocation packages is that you (as the employee) never know the dollar amount you’re signing up for beforehand. I’ve moved under relo agreements twice – the first move probably cost less than $15k, while the second cost upwards of $80k (it involved selling a house). And when the second company restructured within two months of my move and the job became something I hadn’t signed up for, I was stuck for two years.

        Do you really only want employees who will stay because they’re financially obligated?

  13. Bill*

    To me, shouldn’t the conference attendance be considered in the same way as a bonus that might have been given to the employee? How is paying for a conference trip different from handing the employee a check for a bonus, other than the fact that you can take the gift back if you want to? My view of this would be that this trip is something that the employee earned, not in a few months when the conference takes place, but months ago when you bought the ticket and made the reservations.

    Think of it this way: months ago, if you had instead given the employee a bonus check instead of making these reservations, would you now be demanding he return that money?

  14. EngineerGirl*

    As I was reading this I thought: “How DARE the employee use the benefits in their compensation package!” That’s the message the boss is sending. As others have stated. I’d be quite upset if I heard about this practice. Other employees would only wonsder what else the boss retaliates against. Because retaliation is exactly what it is.

  15. bearing*

    This sounds like the kind of thing where you don’t like what happened (the employee quit, or money appears to be wasted on him, or both) and so before you come to your senses you project the feeling that Someone Besides Me Must Feel The Pain.

    I have that impulse all the time. Fortunately, I’ve learned to recognize it (sometimes) and sit on those feelings for a little while until I can re-evaluate it dispassionately.

    So I have empathy for the boss’s impulse to do the wrong thing and try to make the ex-employee eat the cost. But it’s still wrong.

    1. AVP*

      I really like* this principle…I’m going to start calling it SBMMFTP or just FTP for short.

      *I mean, the naming of it, not the fact that it exists.

  16. Poohbear McGriddles*

    Time to split the baby…

    It sounds like he is no longer planning to attend the conference, so you may be able to recoup the hotel and conference fees, at least partially, by cancelling or transferring.
    For the airfare, you may be able to recoup some of it but it may be harder. Whether it’s worth the effort probably depends on if it’s a $200 coach ticket or a $2k 1st class ticket.
    Note that the employee doesn’t write a check in either case. Instead, you work it out with the hotel or airline, etc.
    I agree that it’s the cost of doing business, but no sense in leaving money on the table (of the hotel, airline, etc.) if no one is using it.

  17. Caroline*

    Was this booked through something like Orbitz or a corporate travel agency? Corporate travel booking, in my experience, is extremely flexible for reasons like these. For example, hotels and rental cars aren’t actually charged until you sign in upon arrival, or if you don’t sign in, a cancellation fee is charged. If this was booked through something like Concur or American Express travel, I would call them and see what they can do.

  18. The Dude*

    Geez, ya know, quitting a job is a lot like getting a divorce or breaking up with someone. All the sudden everything you ever did or said matters. And the remaining children scavenge anything of value left behind. “I get his coffee mug”, “I get his chair”, “I get his mouse pad”. It’s almost as embarrassing as Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball. Now you want him to pay for a conference he didn’t even go to? What if he went to the conference and THEN left? Then you might have a case as he “benefited” from the event.

    And that’s another thing . . . conferences are a huge waste of money.

    Yeah, I know. There will be a lot of you who will espouse the great benefit you gained from some conference in the Caribbean where you made some invaluable connection through the cabana boy.

    Try this: Send them to a conference in some god-forsaken-place like, I don’t know, Bloomington, Illinois, where the only entertainment in town is hanging out at the local Steak N’ Shake and getting into a fight with some toothless good ‘ole boy over the price of soybeans. Bet there won’t be too many takers on that one.

    But if you insist on spending money on frivolous brain packing on everything from how to use the latest CRM software to The Legal Ramifications of HIPPA Violations, then here’s what to expect in terms of cost.

    Let’s see . . $900 for registration, $800 for hotel, $700 for a roundtrip ticket (depends on where it is), $300 for meals, $150 for a rent a car, and if you’re Elliot Spitzer another $5,000 for an Emperor’s Club expense. So if you are not Elliot you’re up to around $3,000 . . for what? Information? That’s a lot of books in the library. Conferences are the corporate version of Spring Break. I’m surprised we haven’t seen an “Employees Gone Wild” DVD being hocked on late night cable.

    Moral of the story: don’t waste your money on conferences. Buy books or video training courses. They stick around long after the employee is gone.

    1. Ash (the other one!)*

      Conferences are much more about networking than they are about the information at the conference. Mind you, most of the ones I go to are research conferences, but I learned early on in graduate school that you cannot and should not go to all the sessions. You will get burned out and you can always get the papers/ppts later. Really, you’re there to meet potential collaborators, give out your card, and share your name and your organization’s name with others. To me, that’s well worth the cost. Also the most expensive conference I go to is $450 registration, which includes the one year membership to the association. $900? Where? What?

        1. Windchime*

          The SQL PASS conference is similarly priced. But you get a wicked nice backpack full at that one. The sessions are good, too, and I save money when I attend because I only go when it’s held in Seattle. So I can drive to the conference and sleep in my own bed.

    2. Brett*

      If you think conferences are a waste of money, you are doing them the wrong way.

      Most of my professional reputation rests on my contributions at conferences. My work at conferences is often times my most valuable contribution to my employers and has allowed me to unlock dozens of opportunities not normally available to us.

      Tech sessions? That is what the conference DVD is for. Conferences are about the connections and the hidden sessions where you can get information and Q&A that never shows up on the conference DVD.

      I work 12-16 hours a day during a conference. I always come back exhausted and normally come back sick. I have also never spent more than $2k on any conference, including week long conferences in San Diego.

    3. Aless*

      the HRPA annual conference in Toronto cost over 2K !!! And it’s not reimbursed by my work!
      At least you get points toward keeping your professional designation up to date.

    4. Elizabeth*

      My professional organization’s annual conference costs $395 on early bird, $695 on-site. For a 3.5 day conference that runs 7am to 4pm, with 2 meals each day included. And each evening there are networking events put on by exhibitors that cover almost any evening meal you could want. Most of them are held in smaller cities that Southwest Airlines offers direct service to for a reasonable cost, just because trying to get 1800 people to a place takes some logistics.

      Even the big C networking company’s annual event for network engineers, architects and administrators doesn’t cost that much and doesn’t devolve into that kind of debauchery (not even the year they hired KISS to play their big social & networking event).

      If you’re having “employees gone wild” problems at conferences, you’re either sending people who aren’t really professionals, or you’re sending them to the surfing contests that the LW referred to.

      And if you do find an actual “Ramifications of HIPAA Violations” conference (as opposed to a free webinar from a vendor that is a thinly-disguised sales pitch)? Let me know. I’m still looking for one.

    5. MR*

      Well said, sir. Well said.

      The only benefit to a conference is getting out of the office, IMO.

    6. Mena*

      Hardly a huge waste of money. Either you are selecting the wrong events or just viewing this as time off and not an opportunity.

      And part of motivating your team is investing in them, getting them out and around peers is a benefit to everyone.

  19. Brett*

    Would the OP’s company even have a way to recover the cost of the conference? It seems like, at best, they could take the employee to court (and probably lose).

    1. MR*

      It would likely be a small claims court, at best. Even then, is it worth the time, energy and effort to do so? Not to mention the negative implication for remaining and future employees? Not for me, but there are people out there who would think so…

  20. Mena*

    Your boss should suck up the cost simply because it will look cheap, petty, and mean to every other employees. Is that how he wants to appear to the team?

  21. Jack Anderson*

    Maybe Mr. Director should sue the departing employee for thr value of the airfare,etc. Hey, while he’s at it, sue for what it will cost to recruit and train a new employee. Then he should as policy sue every employee who resigns for same.

  22. Howard Spiegel*

    Regardless of the reason, employers are prohibited from making any deductions to an employee’s pay unless the employee has agreed to the deduction in advance and in writing (or electronic election such as employee self service). There are no exceptions to this IRS rule.

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