How Can This Be Surprising?

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Corporate America has a pretty clear track record of taking care of itself. As do the Wall Street fat cats, bankers, and corporate raiders.

So when news stories of TRAPs came out, the only thing that surprised me was how many other people seemed to be surprised. Like: what did you think was gonna happen? I’m not saying it’s right; I’m trying to be realistic and straightforward here.


This, IMO, is what Corporate America really thinks.

“A growing number of companies are demanding that employees who quit pay back thousands of dollars in training costs, Reuters reports. Nearly 10% of American workers were covered by training repayment agreement provisions (TRAPs) in 2020, according to the Cornell Survey Research Institute, with firms in sectors such as trucking, beauty, retail and health care using the practice. Advocates say TRAPs may prevent skilled workers from seeking new and better paying jobs, and now federal and state-level authorities are starting to review the agreements.”
- (emphasis mine)

Well, yes. Exactly. Seemingly, the goal is to preserve the time, effort, and money invested in a new hire. In reality, it’s like a mouse getting into a sticky trap. Oh, you don’t like it here now that you’re in the belly of the beast? Ha ha. Too damn bad. You’re either gonna stay or you’re gonna pay us back for the training.

It reminds me of a horrifying video I saw of Dick Fuld (what’s in a name) talking about ripping someone’s heart out and eating it. I mean… these people are NOT looking out for you. They take care of themselves and never quite seem to suffer any consequences for it.

Forbes reported on TRAPs last summer:

“A new study by Jonathan F. Harris, associate professor of law at Loyola Law School, finds that more workers are starting their jobs in debt to their employers under Training Repayment Agreements. Under these agreements, workers who quit their jobs or are fired within a set time period are required to pay their employers money, ostensibly, to offset the costs of training.

The debt amounts can be high. In Ohio, a roofing product sales company made their salespeople repay $42,000 if they left the job in three years or less, a training repayment agreement that was upheld by the court…

Employers who use these agreements say they’re just trying to recoup the cost of training — but some employers may overstate training costs to discourage workers from quitting, or squeeze workers on their way out the door.
- (emphasis mine)

Connect the dots, la la la la.

➡️Corporate America wants the balance of power to rest firmly with them.

➡️The Fed wants to crash the job market and see unemployment rise.

➡️Oh, and those who remain employed will see their wages stagnate.

So… can these TRAPs really be that big of a surprise to you?

Just as the house always wins in gambling, Corpo America wants to ensure they always win at the end of the game.


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Sara Causey

Staffing & Recruiting SME. Owner of Causey Consulting LLC. Proud introvert/INFJ. Bookworm. Podcaster. No nonsense.