Can my 1099 employer force me to repay a large training fee?

This is a discussion on Can my 1099 employer force me to repay a large training fee? within the Employment and Labor Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; I have signed no agreements and I was not paid or given stipend for the 2 weeks of training in Kansas city, MO. I was told I would be given ...

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  1. #1
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    Can my 1099 employer force me to repay a large training fee?

    I have signed no agreements and I was not paid or given stipend for the 2 weeks of training in Kansas city, MO. I was told I would be given higher pay and a higher position in the company and they have yet to be given to me. I agreed to the training and verbally agreed to stay with the company after training.

    Promises where made to me and they have fallen through. I would like to go home and start a new career. My 1099 employer gave me 2 choices, I either go home and repay the $4000 training fee or I stay and work for them. Can they legally force me to repay this training fee? Would they be able to take me to court over this if I were to quit and go home? The company is based out of Utah and licensed in numerous states including Kansas City, Missouri Which is where I am currently working. Thank you


  2. #2
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    First, if your “employer” provides you with a Form 1099, you are being treated as an independent contractor, not as an employee. (You may want to have a discussion with a representative of the state department of labor concerning your possible misclassification as an independent contractor.)

    Second, (1) if you did not sign a written agreement obligating you to replaying the training fees and (2) if you did not verbally agree to repay the training fees, then your employer-business partner would not appear to have a contract basis on which to sue you for said fees if you resign.

    Separately, if other party through its authorized representative(s) pledged to provide you with a “higher pay and a higher position,” you could theoretically sue to enforce this verbal contractual provision. It would help, though, if you had some written proof (e.g., confirming e-mails) to support your claim for the higher salary and/or higher position.

    Considering the other party has threatened to sue you if you leave, it may behoove to consult directly with local employment law counsel before you make a move. (Even if you have to pay a consultation fee and/or for an hour or two of his or her time, this expenditure will prove to be money well spent.) You want to have an attorney meet with you and review any relevant documents in order to provide you with a fully informed opinion.


 

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