I have been working for an IT company for close to three years. Their headquarters is in Virginia but I work in West Virginia. When I accepted the position, three years ago, there were no certifications required for this position.
A year and a half into my position, the company began requiring a new certification and did not grandfather prior hires into not needing it. To make matters worse, the certification is only very loosely tied to the work I do, whereas the two certifications I already had for 8570 are both directly related to my position.
The company will pay for the now mandatory certification ($1,150), but I must fill out an education reimbursement request for it, and agree to pay the money back if I leave within a year.
As this is being mandated by the company, I don't think that is right. I have found California case law saying companies cannot do that unless the training is voluntary, but no case law for West Virginia.
WV is also an at-will-employment state, so I'm wondering if the company can just say, "Sign the paper or you're fired". Does anyone know if there are any federal or WV state laws against this type of behavior? Forcing someone to pay for a mandatory certification, after being hired, and then making you pay for it out of your pocket if you leave seems at the very least unethical to me, if not illegal.