A quick word on In re Acknowledgment Cases (8/12/15, pub. 8/31/15) --- Cal.App.4th ---, in which the Court of Appeal held as follows:
Los Angeles Administrative Code section 4.1700 requires police officers hired by the LAPD to reimburse the city for certain training costs if they quit within five years of graduation and go to work for another law
enforcement agency within one year after quitting. The city requires LAPD recruits to sign an "acknowledgment," stating that they will reimburse the city as stated in section 4.1700.
Labor Code section 2802 requires an employer to reimburse an employee for "all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties." Where a statute or ordinance requires an employee to have a license, the employee must bear the cost of the license. However, where the law does not require the license, but the employer itself requires either training or licensure, the employer must bear such cost.
State law requires every peace officer to complete an introductory training course, known as POST training. Employers are not responsible for the cost of such training under section 2802.
The city requires additional training, beyond that required under state law. Under section 2802, the city must bear the cost of this training. "Accordingly, both
LAAC section 4.1700 and the acknowledgment are void to the extent that they require
reimbursement for the cost of training other than basic POST certification training."
The appellants argued that the city must pay for all training costs because the city requires recruits to go through such training at the LAPD Academy. The Court did not reach this issue. The Court also did not decide "whether the city can
require recruits who are already POST certified, including lateral officers, to attend POST
training at its academy and to reimburse it for the cost of that portion of the training
pursuant to LAAC section 4.1700."
The opinion is available here.