Not going to start - will I be liable for 1 year contract cost?

About 6 months ago I was offered a spot as a BI investigator. I was given costs I would have to repay if I didn’t complete at least 1 year employment - 5k for the year.
I am considering starting another job and not starting with the company.
I was unofficially told that since I was never actually an employee, that I will not be liable for the cost. I’m just trying to find an accurate answer.
Any insight?

If you haven’t had any training yet, you should be good.

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I started at Paragon in September and signed a paper saying the same thing. The form specifically mentions DCSA training but the training i went through was only for the DHS training. I’m probably jot going back after being “temporarily” laid off. Can’t afford the benefits anymore anyway. Not sure if they’ll try to pin this on me as well. Wouldn’t be surprised as theyve nickeled and dimed me every step of the way so far.

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Unless you’ve already started training and have credentials in hand, your employment has not started. You shouldn’t be liable. From my understanding, the 5K was to cover your clearance and additional work to bring you on. They don’t even pay for your mileage to drive to get credentials and access cards that are required for employment as this is “pre-employment” so why should you have to pay the 5K?

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Thanks. I had some one review the contract and the believe the same thing…