Long story short I decided to continue my education and pay for it myself after watching upper management repeatedly gripe about how SHE (not the company) paid for a disliked coworker's degree. We didn't. This person paid for their degree out of their own pocket.

I made the mistake of telling management about the class, regardless, and she went around informing everyone about how WE were taking the class. She knew full-well I was paying for it myself but insisted she was taking the class with me and never signed up for it or even asked me how the class was going. She also tried to bully me into providing her the class materials. She did the same with another coworker taking classes, but they were reimbursed and fended it off.

As a result, for the next two classes, I informed my direct manager but opted not to tell her I was taking them. She is now pestering me for the material again citing she is in deep water if she doesn't get it. She is even claiming I have to give it to her because she paid for the class (which again, she didn't).

I am all for being a team player but this seems highly unethical to give out copyrighted material. These are presentations and resources for the class, and would have to be modified from scratch to fit her needs anyway.

In regards to continued education and employers paying for employee's college classes, what right to the class material do they have? Do I have a leg to stand on to not provide this content even if my company had paid for the class?

  • Why in the world would you tell anyone? Why are you continuing at such a toxic workplace? I am sure this behavior extends to many other areas.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 14:32

4 Answers 4


The solution is to discuss your concerns with your manager. You should not be getting into disputes, hiding things, declining to give stuff or anything else with people outside your team without your manager being in the loop.

Their role in this scenario is to be a buffer between you and the rest of the World and they will/should know what is deemed normal in the company in regards to materials etc,.


You don’t have to give her any material.

It is yours as you are paying for it.

I shared material with class mates many times and them with me but would not give away my notes and work for free.

She has no hold or right to demand or emotionally blackmail you into handing her any material.


The materials for your education are yours. This is a company benefit like holiday swag, vacation time, relocation expenses, et cetera.

Unless it is specifically written into your contract, or explicitly named as company materials, it is YOURS not theirs. They are likely getting a tax break based on "Capital investment"

Currently, employers can deduct certain qualified education and training expenses for tax purposes, and certain qualified educational benefits are excludable from the taxable portion of employees’ wages.


If they try to grab back any portion of what they laid out for training, they are possibly violating tax code. See an employment or tax lawyer for confirmation.

  • 1
    Here is the thing, they didn't pay for the course. Not financially. Not in time as it was all online and I did it over the weekend. They have no right to said course in the slightest as they paid me nothing. She is trying to claim that they did because I used my wages for work I did from them.,
    – Things
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 14:35

Most U.S. based companies usually want to see a list of courses you are taking if they offer to pay or reimburse tuition. In some cases they may want to see course descriptions. Beyond you providing the grade you received for the course...if you need to show you earned a certain grade for them to pay for the course...requesting anything beyond that seems unusual.

Does your company handbook cover education benefits offered?

I agree with Old Lamplighter, more than likely they are paying just the cost of the course and not the learning materials such as books.

The manager's behavior comes off very unprofessional. I would document everything and keep copies of any emails ....just in case.

  • 1
    Sorry, this is late. We don't have a policy guide because she is "99% done with writing it" and has been for about two years now. Mainly she refuses to give it because then she couldn't make rules up on the spot. But I don't want them to pay at all for my course because I want them to have 0 claim to this degree. Honestly, I am contemplating taking this degree and looking elsewhere at this point.
    – Things
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 14:31

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