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Deducting Employee’s Training Costs Violates ESC

A skin care center agreed to provide free training to estheticians, provided that they stay at least 24 months; if not, they had to repay the center’s training costs. In accordance with this clause, the center deducted $1,500 from the final paycheque of a trainee who resigned after 4 months. The center cited Sec. 12(2)(c) of the ESC, which allows for deductions that employees personally authorize in writing. But the Alberta Labour Relations Board didn’t buy it. The trainee didn’t actually take any of the center’s courses or seminars. And since the trainee derived no benefits and the center incurred no costs, the deduction was invalid [Laser and Skin Care MEDSPA Red Deer Ltd. v Verge, 2022 CanLII 40453 (AB ESA), May 16, 2022].