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Federal Agency may make it Harder to Hire and Train Employees

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looking at employee obligations to Training Repayment Agreements and up-front equipment and supplies costs.

From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. economy has lost millions of workers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. According to the U.S. Chamber’s America Works Data Center, there are upwards of 3.25 million missing workers in the economy today. This worker shortage is a crisis for both businesses and consumers as unfilled labor needs are driving inflation.

Given that, it’s all the more concerning that federal regulators at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could make it more difficult for businesses to hire employees.

On June 9, 2022, the CFPB published a request for information (RFI) regarding what the agency refers to as “employer-driven debt.” While it sounds innocuous, the RFI is targeted at common business practices that expand hiring opportunities and provide employees with in-demand skills. Specifically, the RFI is seeking input on Training Repayment Agreements that require workers to pay their employers for training if they separate within a set time period and debt owed to an employer or third-party entity for the up-front purchase of equipment and supplies essential to their work or required by the employer, but not paid for by the employer.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is encouraging employers to learn more about the unintended consequences for their company if the CFPB attempts to expand its interpretation of consumer financial protection laws. If employers decide these actions will have a negative impact on their business, they can file comments with the CFPB online until September 7, 2022.