TRAPPED AT WORK: How Big Business Uses Student Debt to Restrict Worker Mobility

Student Borrower Protection Center Research Paper

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-07

106 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2022 Last revised: 13 Oct 2022

See all articles by Chris Hicks

Chris Hicks

Student Borrower Protection Center

Jonathan F. Harris

LMU Loyola Law School

Date Written: July 28, 2022

Abstract

This report outlines the results of an investigation by the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) into the role of “Training Repayment Agreement Provisions” (TRAPs) as a form of shadow student debt. The investigation reveals that TRAPs have become more prominent in use by major employers, which often control a large market share of their respective industry, affecting millions of workers every day. Although employers argue that these provisions are a useful way to recoup the cost of teaching useful skills to employees who may depart sooner than anticipated, TRAPs are instead often used to trap people in poor working environments and low-paying jobs. In other words, TRAPs function in the real world as a penalty for leaving a job. And, even if this TRAP is not enforced, its presence has the power to accomplish the intended consequence of pressuring workers into staying.

Keywords: training repayment agreement provisions, student debt, student loans, employment

Suggested Citation

Hicks, Chris and Harris, Jonathan, TRAPPED AT WORK: How Big Business Uses Student Debt to Restrict Worker Mobility (July 28, 2022). Student Borrower Protection Center Research Paper, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-07 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4177496 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4177496

Chris Hicks (Contact Author)

Student Borrower Protection Center ( email )

1025 Connecticut Ave. NW
Suite 717
Washington, DC 20036
United States

HOME PAGE: http://protectborrowers.org

Jonathan Harris

LMU Loyola Law School ( email )

919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States

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