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So I accepted a position with a company in Fort Worth and accepted a sign on bonus. Nothing amazing, $2500. The contract says it is reimbursable if I were to leave before 12 months. I started with them in October 2019. Fast forward to now. I've been furloughed for 3 months and they said I could probably start back there at the beginning of July. Well we are moving sooner than expected and heading back to Austin in July. Between being furlough, my husband in grad school and also in the Navy Reserves Nurse Corps, he's technically in "ready to deploy" status due to Covid. We just decided it isn't worth going back to work for a couple weeks then heading back out to Austin. Especially with Covid cases rising.

I got an email today saying that I owe the money and to send them a check. Yes, I know I signed a contract, so no lectures about that needed. My question is what are my options from here other than paying it back in full immediately?

Negotiate a lower amount? Ask to pay back in installments? Ignore it? I wonder what the chances are of them wanting to actually take me to court for $2500.

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Do they owe you any further pay?  If so, they may be able to deduct it from that pay, depending upon the language in the offer letter/sign-on bonus agreement.  

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12 minutes ago, Native Horn said:

Do they owe you any further pay?  If so, they may be able to deduct it from that pay, depending upon the language in the offer letter/sign-on bonus agreement.  

No they don't owe me anything. I've been furloughed for 3 months so I havent been working.

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I want to come back with, well I'll pay a prorated amount for the remainder of the term, something like $600 and see what they say.

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Does furlough not affect the "12 months of employment" you were expecting when you signed the contract?

If not, that is bullshit.  They altered the deal.

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2 minutes ago, Iceman said:

Does furlough not affect the "12 months of employment" you were expecting when you signed the contract?

If not, that is bullshit.  They altered the deal.

Good question. I, obviously not being a lawyer, have no idea how furlough affects the original contract

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10 minutes ago, SubliminalHorn said:

Before furlough, they also cut my hours to part time. Which seems to be that they further altered the original contract. 

Yeah, no company want to fight a case over $2,500 so you have the upper hand. Just find a lawyer who will allow you to use their letterhead (or DickButt stationary) and outline the ways in which they altered the contract and tell them to pound sand. Since they can't "take" money from you, they are screwed unless they want to sue.

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Yeah seems like it was written that if you left on your own you’d have to pay it back. They sound like dicks

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Didn't they breach the contract by reducing you to part-time work and then laying you off? 

Not legal advice - I would politely tell them to pound sand, but your mileage may vary. 

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Also say you are moving due to the reserves. They would have be complete assholes to go after such a small amount for all of those reasons

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Ask then where and when they would like to take deposit of 250,000 pennies

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“You cut my hours and then furloughed me for no cause attributed to my performance.  You changed the terms of my employment and thus the agreement before I discussed moving on to resume full time paid employment elsewhere.  When you reimburse me for the full amount of lost wages attributed to my reduced hours and subsequent furlough, I’ll reimburse you for the $2500 signing bonus.... if you really want to demand abiding by the contract’s original language.  I’m sure you’ll see that as only fair since you seem insistent on holding to the contract.  As soon as I receive your check for $xxxxx., I’ll remit back $2500.00”

 

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I would call and/or email HR and explain that you simply can't repay the $2,500 signing bonus because you don't have the money anymore.  I would further explain that your inability to repay the $2,500 was due to your furlough, and that you cannot just wait, hope and pray that the company will bring you back full time and without a reduction in pay.  Tell them you spent the $2,500 making ends meet during the pandemic, and that you needed to accept the new full time job because you have bills to pay, etc., and that due to the uncertainty of the job you had with this company, you felt you had no choice in accepting a new job.   

Be tough, but respectful.  There's no damn way they will sue you over a $2,500 signing bonus after they furloughed you and you didn't get paid for 3 months and chose to accept another job that actually is paying you a salary during a pandemic...don't even think about offering to prorate, let them suggest that, if they are so inclined.

By the way, this is NOT legal advise.   

 

 

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PM Troph.

She knows this shit and deals with it regularly in her practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, MonkeyDoughnut said:

giphy.gif

Come on.  The guy was married to a stripper.  If he wants to use "grammar" as a verb, so be it.

Edited by idigTexas

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Not a lawyer but I don’t think you owe them shit. They terminated your employment with the furlough.

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11 hours ago, 3shot said:

I would call and/or email HR and explain that you simply can't repay the $2,500 signing bonus because you don't have the money anymore.  I would further explain that your inability to repay the $2,500 was due to your furlough, and that you cannot just wait, hope and pray that the company will bring you back full time and without a reduction in pay.  Tell them you spent the $2,500 making ends meet during the pandemic, and that you needed to accept the new full time job because you have bills to pay, etc., and that due to the uncertainty of the job you had with this company, you felt you had no choice in accepting a new job.   

Be tough, but respectful.  There's no damn way they will sue you over a $2,500 signing bonus after they furloughed you and you didn't get paid for 3 months and chose to accept another job that actually is paying you a salary during a pandemic...don't even think about offering to prorate, let them suggest that, if they are so inclined.

By the way, this is NOT legal advise.   

 

 

This is what I would go with as well. Don't be adversarial. Don't threaten a lawyer or use some legal knowledge that you don't have. Just say that you don't have $2500 and have no idea when you will. they might ask if you will repay it later, you can say that you're uncertain of future financial positions therefore you can't answer that.

Odds are they are not going to take you to court over that amount.  It seems a bit tricky in that both parties have seemingly violated the terms or spirit of the deal. If they counter with half, think about paying it.

If a business owner was in their position and posted on surly for what action they should take, I imagine the advice here would be to ask for the $2500 but not spend time/money pursuing it.

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Does the contract specify US Dollars? Because the $ sign can stand for a lot of currencies. If you like them, send them Mexican Pesos. If you don't like them, send them something worse.

80-original.jpg

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One way you can approach it is that your repayment of the $2500 if within the first year was conditioned on receiving a full-time salary for that year, whatever that is.  And you can prorate based on what percentage of that salary you did receive, as opposed to just weeks or months.

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Thank you all for the advice. I sent an email today with a respectful but firm tone back to my direct boss outlining how the contract was altered and that this was also presumed to be altered as well.

She's just bitter I'm leaving.

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Leave your mark. Bang her first. 


He’d probably have to think of South Austin’s dad to make it through that one.

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Posted (edited)

Do you have the contract of the signing bonus? I'd comb that and see if there's an out for the furlough. Absent that is there any kind of legal services benefit offered by the navy your husband might have access to?

Edited by Viper

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Posted (edited)

Sounds to me like you were essentially laid off, without cause. You remained ready to fulfill your part of the deal but they broke their promise, which cost you three months of salary that you can NEVER get back. I have to believe that any agreement like the one you signed says that you have to quit, or be terminated "for cause". The bonus was to get you to leave a company you liked, or at least could have stayed with, and take the risk of joining a company that was less stable. They backed out of the deal, not you. You got fucked. Not a lawyer, btw.

Edited by Irish Wrist Watch

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Posted (edited)

So they furloughed you and expected you to just sit around waiting for them to take you back, and they expect to be paid back?

That's cold.

Can't wait to hear what an actual lawyer says about that.

Edited by BearSchlong

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Did you go with the “I don’t have the money anymore because I’ve been furloughed, and we have to move for reserve deployment” route yet? If not, do that. Maybe also throw in that you’ll be in touch later once you have your finances back in good shape. They aren’t going to sue you for $2500 under those facts, and they’ll eventually forget about it.

We’re about to be in a similar boat. Wife got a $25k signing bonus, to be repaid if she didn’t remain for 2 years. Have a feeling they might actually fight us for that.

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"I'll pay you when you pay me.  To whom should my attorney address future correspondence?"

They'll go away.

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Good lesson here to not sign a contract where you have to repay a signing bonus regardless of the situation. It's a two way street and the payback should be contingent on you voluntarily leaving the position but only if the employment conditions (role, title, pay, hours, location, etc.) have remained as-is.

I suppose being fired for cause would be another reason to require payback which stops you from purposely getting fired to avoid the payback.

Always good to only agree to sign documents BEFORE you quit your previous job. I've had a few employers bust out bs employee agreements on the day you start. I would like to say I laughed and walked out, but I signed them like everyone else does. I've learned to ask for all documents to be signed in advance. If they hem and haw, it's good sign that they're not.

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Tell them to suck a dick and send them a picture.

Don’t tell them you’re leaving and just stop showing up.

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Is there specific language in the contract about terms of repayment? If not, start sending them a check for $1 every month. If there is specific language then just tell them to pound sand. They’ll pay more in legal fees if they try to recoup.

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On 6/24/2020 at 4:49 PM, Nice Guy Eddie said:

If they hem and haw, it's good sign that they're not.

Go on...

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A couple of years out of college, I worked for Kimley-Horn. It was horrible. When I gave notice I was within the signing bonus payback period and told them to take it out of my last paycheck. I took home $40 that month. It was worth it.

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31 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

A couple of years out of college, I worked for Kimley-Horn. It was horrible. When I gave notice I was within the signing bonus payback period and told them to take it out of my last paycheck. I took home $40 that month. It was worth it.

They’re otherwise a decent company but their policies with retention are insane.  For senior level staff it’s forfeiting 75 percent of their stock or similar.  Not in a million years would I sign in to that.

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They’re otherwise a decent company but their policies with retention are insane.  For senior level staff it’s forfeiting 75 percent of their stock or similar.  Not in a million years would I sign in to that.

The work environment was brutal. They touted 4 9s and a half day on FRI but your billable hours was based on 46 hours a week. If you had a holiday or a PTO day, they subtracted 9 hours from your billed time that you had to make up. You weren’t allowed to roll up your sleeves in the office. You were told to sit up in your chair if you leaned back or slouched. They held a “revival” annually called Eagle’s Nest where you had to get and tell the crowd how you were going to make them money over the next year. A coworker when meeting the CEO for the first time mentioned he was getting married. The CEO told him “I hope you’re not taking any time off for that. You have your entire life to be married but you can’t work forever.”

Other than that, the benefits were excellent.

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Am I missing something here wise surlicans?  
 

contract breach by company (duty to provide work for pay) = employee may terminate contract.

No?

 

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I just checked mine and it says "if your employment ends for any reason" you have to pay it back. 

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