Author Topic: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!  (Read 866 times)

diesel

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Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:41:02 AM »
Hi All,

I am going to summarize my situation really quickly.

I have decided to leave my job for a new opportunity.  When I accepted this job I signed an agreement that outlined the terms of repayment of any relocation benefits I received.  I have attached the letter here with names deleted to protect the guilty. 

So I am leaving before the 2 years is up so I do owe money...no big deal.  It was expected and the company I am going to has agreed to pay for it.  The issue is with the timing and method of payment. 

My last day with my current employer is tomorrow.  Tomorrow is also the day I should receive my last paycheck.  I have found out that I owe in total ~10k.  My current employer took the liberty of just cancelling my last paycheck and applying that plus all my vaca time, etc. to the 10k and they are telling me I now owe ~5k.  They are also telling me that the "within 30 days" section of the attached contract means that I could pay any money I owe earlier than my termination date but upon my termination date, any monies I owe are due.

So in short: Instead of getting my paycheck and having 30 days to come up with 10k, I am not getting my paycheck and have to write a check tomorrow for 5k.  Can this possibly be right?  I'm being told this by division level HR and Accounting.  Should I go above their heads? 

Any experience or help would be so appreciated.

Thanks

SnackDog

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Re: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 08:07:06 AM »
I'm not a lawyer and I don't offer legal advice to strangers over the internet, but if I were in your shoes I would 1) confirm the amount owed is correct, 2) have them document their version of hte math and sign a receipt for the amount already pay via withholding your check, then 3) inform them you will pay just as soon as you have the money.   If they won't give you a paper receipt, tell them you are not paying the rest.

What can they do? Force you to continue working?  Send them a check in a week or two.  They won't complain.

ditheca

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Re: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 11:04:50 AM »
If you are in the United States, I believe it may be illegal for your employer to garnish your wages without a court order.

Even if the related provision in your contract is valid, the contract itself says they can't dock your wages until 30 days after your termination.  30 days after termination, you won't have any outstanding wages for them to dock!  It's a stupidly written contract, and the stupidity is in your favor.

If you are desperate for money right now, feel free to call their bluff and threaten a lawsuit.  Get loud enough about the breach of contract and they are very likely back down and give you the final paycheck.

Afterwards, of course, do make sure to pay what you owe!

plog

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Re: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 11:21:21 AM »
Being a random person on the internet and having watched a ton of Judge Judy, please take this advice to the bank as being 138.79% accurate:  You have 30 days to pay the full termination fee. 

sic: "The Amount owed will be paid to ___ within 30 days of the termination date. "

No caveat in there for if you terminate or if they terminate, just termination date.  Further, there's no breach clause.  What happens if you pay in 31 days, much less 30 days after that date?  Nothing, the contract doesn't spell that out.  This is America, so technicaly they can sue you.  However, they must sue you for provable damages.  I'm not sure what damages they will incur (much less be able to prove) if they don't receive your payment immediately on your last day.

Call their bluff. 

MJseast

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Re: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 01:08:55 PM »
I agree with the other responses - call their bluff. The contract seems pretty clear that you have 30 days to pay. In addition, it says the wages will be held if it's not paid within that time frame, so they may have already breached the contract themselves.
What state are in and have you researched the state laws? The contract does say, "...unless prohibited by state law".

diesel

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Re: Relocation Contract Help Needed...Badly!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 01:23:48 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses.  It turned out to be some HR and accounting people not knowing how to interpret the contract (or not wanting to know.)  Aftera lot of...debating...and escalating the email to the proper levels I got it resolved.

Thanks again!