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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6952
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello;respoThanks a bunch for your inputI ws relocated

Customer Question

Hello;respo
Thanks a bunch for your input
I ws relocated by my company that I had been with for over a year from DE to an acquisition site (not ther original company) in CA. Since the transfer it has beeen a living hell, unfortunately my father has had a severe strooke which means that I will need to resign from my job. I believe ther was a clause in the move regarding being at the relocation position for a year.

Can they come after me for the cost, if so is it based on time already spent there, do I have any recourse since it is a medical/family issue?

Thanks a bunch!

joni
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Joni,

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about your father's stroke and your need to resign from this position.

Can you please tell me whether the contract you signed expressly included a clause that permitted your employer to recover costs from you in the event that you terminated employment prior to one year?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Expert;


 


I believe there was but i do not have the contact with me at this time since I am in Ohio with my father.


I may not have access to the contact b/c with my resignation on Friday I left my company computer behind.


Thanks for addressing my question. I think I'll just play it by ear...it is not as if I used them to move me to a much nicer place and stayed. I have left for the most important reason I can think of .....a loved one...my only dad.


 


Best regards//joni


 

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Joni,

Thank you very much for your reply. Your concerns and your actions are completely understandable.

First, it may be somewhat of a relief for you to know that it would be very unlikely for an employer to take any sort of legal action against an individual under your circumstances, especially if you have relocated to another state. They would be looking at a recovery of too small a sum, if anything, to make it worth their while, especially after you factor in court costs.

If a contract provides that employment shall last for a particular length of time, then typically speaking, either party can recover damages as a result of the other party terminating employment prior to that specified date.

"Damages" would include any financial harm that reasonably and foreseeably arises from the breach of contract. This potentially includes relocation costs and the costs of conducting an additional job search to find a replacement employee. However, there would exist arguments to reduce damages premised on either of these theories.

For one, it could be argued that moving costs should only be reduced proportionate to the amount of the contract that was left unfulfilled. For example,if you worked 6 months out of the 12 before quitting, the employer would likely only be entitled to reimbursement for half the relocation costs, because they obtained at least half the anticipated benefit of paying for your moving costs by having you work for half of the contract's duration.

Secondly, it could be argued that any expense related to finding a replacement employee would have been incurred even if you left after the contract expired, and so the "damage," if any, would be simply that the money was expended prior than was previously anticipated.

Other forms of damage would likely be too speculative to be seriously considered.

So to summarize, while it is quite unlikely that an employer would take legal action against an employee under the circumstances described, an employer could arguably collect damages in the event of a breach, though there exist arguments that would reduce the claimed damages amounts.

I sincerely hope that this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Joni,

The system has alerted me that you responded, but I do not see a response. Would you mind resposting it?

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