Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

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Latest post 03-10-2012 12:09 PM by LG81. 12 replies.
  • 03-05-2012 6:31 PM

    • ontheway
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    Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    Hi,

    I joined in current employer half year ago. the offer letter said that I must pay back all relocation benefit to company if I resign within one year.The company filed charpter 11 bankrupt protection two month ago. The managment is looking for selling every business units. In order to avoid unemployment, I found a new job and talked to HR for resignation. But HR told me that I must pay all relocation benefit to company. My opinion is that there is a big change in company, so I should be able to leave freely. 

    So I come here for suggestions.

    by the way, what will happen to me if I don't pay back the benefit to company before I leave?

     

    thanks

    ontheway

  • 03-05-2012 6:39 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    I see it other way around--you agreed to pay --you resigned--you owe it 100% .

    Now had company folded underneath you and ceased to employ you I might think that was a good defense--but apparently that is not what happened and you were not smart enough to get a written release.



  • 03-05-2012 6:47 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    If the company is reorganinzing itself under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, then the US trustee is going to expect it to recover whatever monies it can. That's the bad news.

    Now, for the good news. We don't have debtor's prisons in this country. The company could sue you for the return of the money. If it got a judgment, it could seek to collect it and that could include a wage garnishment in CA. However, a company that is undergoing a Chapter 11 BK reorganization sometimes needs the permission of the US trustee to incur legal expenses chasing after people. If you look like a "difficult" collection, the US trustee may tell the company to forget about it.

    It probably depends upon how much is at stake here. For 5k, the amount might be too low to justify the legal costs. 25k is a different matter entirely.

    Unfortunately, your company's current financial difficulties do not necessary provide you with "an out" with respect to the relocation expenses that you accepted in exchange for your agreement to work for them for one year. You would have a case for not paying them back if your current employer laid you off before the one year was up because you were able and willing to work and fulfill the terms of the agreement except for their decision to terminate your employment. But, it is you, not them, that is wanting out early.

  • 03-05-2012 7:16 PM In reply to

    • ontheway
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    hi kivi,

    thanks for reply.

    unforunately the total amount is big, it's around 25K. As you said, it's not good, isn't it?

     

    by the way, my new employer don't want to help me to pay for this, but they encouraged me to leave without paying back and they promised me that they will provide help to resolve it if there is any legal request from my current employer.

    I have another question, will it destroy my credit history in US if my current eompoyer sue me in court?

    because I own money to the current employer.

    regards.

    Ontheway 

  • 03-05-2012 7:21 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    That promise sounds rather vague. I would not rely upon it.

    Judgments are public records and the three main credit bureaus do pick them up. So, it likely will be reported in the public records section of those bureaus' reports, if you get sued and lose.

    I won't go so far as to say that your credit history would be destroyed, but it probably will take a serious ding.

  • 03-05-2012 7:23 PM In reply to

    • ontheway
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    Hi Drew,

    thanks for reply.

    accroding to your post, I must return this relocation benefit, mustn't I?

    What will happen if company announce that it will be sold   in bankrupt court?

    Could  I freely resign in that case?

    thanks

    Ontheway

  • 03-05-2012 7:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    Have you already resigned and taken the new job?

    Your post is not clear.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-05-2012 7:43 PM In reply to

    • ontheway
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    Hi,

     I didn't resign yet.

    I just talked to HR of current eomployer for the resign procedure. thanks

    Ontheway

     

  • 03-05-2012 8:09 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    The employer might be wise to sellte for 20% settlement in full, in writing, if you can pull it off with cash? This is basic barter..



  • 03-05-2012 8:23 PM In reply to

    • ontheway
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    Hi Drew,

    You meaned that I can negotiate with company and pay for 20% of total amount in cash, right?

    thanks

    Ontheway

  • 03-05-2012 8:32 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    I mean you can try---there may be good reasons for each side to settle for less if there is hard cash on table....if you do settle--get a written release---



  • 03-09-2012 11:32 PM In reply to

    • ontheway
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    status update.

    next week bankrupt court will announce "stalking horse" for auction, after two weeks, the court will announce auction result.

    Is my labor agreemen with current company still valid after auction is approved?

    thanks

    Ontheway

  • 03-10-2012 12:09 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: Should I pay back relocation benefit ?

    ontheway:

    status update.

    next week bankrupt court will announce "stalking horse" for auction, after two weeks, the court will announce auction result.

    Is my labor agreemen with current company still valid after auction is approved?

    thanks

    It may be or not be.  Are you still working for the comany? 

    Even though it will cost you maybe up to $1k (depending on how much time the attorney wants to "research" your siutation -- a competent one with experience in employement and/or contract law -- shoud be able to answer your questions speedily), you may want to consider that consulation.  $1k (at most) cost to you -- with avoidance of being unemployed and owing $25k -- is a small price to pay.

    Call a couple of attorneys and then make an appointment for one with which you are comfortable.  You can also ask around. Are there other folks at your company (and similar job level) in the same boat?  Generally, what I have found in "true" relocations (versus a minor subsidy to assist with some costs) is that a company either offers them or doesn't.  When a company does offer it, they are likely to have offered it to many folks at your level and above before.

     

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