basking shark asks: "My company is trying to institute a new policy where an employee who takes a training course but leaves the company within a year of the class must reimburse the company for the full cost of the course. The exception is where the course is mandated by the company to fill an immediate need. While I understand the need of the company to protect itself, it also reminds me of the now-despised "company towns" of the early part of this century, that retained employees by making them carry debt to the company that paid them. Is this sort of policy becoming standard as management suggests? Is it fair? Are there alternative plans that would satisfy both employer and employee?"