Thank you very much for your reply. Unfortunately, I must tell you that I don't see your position as being particularly strong here.
The fact is your agreement states that the effective date of relocation/employment is the 27th. The argument that this date was subsequently written in doesn't seem very persuasive. Even if that was the case, why would the date of "employment/relocation" ever have been construed as the date on which you signed, if you didn't start work or relocate on that day? The common meaning of the term "relocation/employment" (which courts will default to in the absence of a clear meaning assigned by the parties to the contract) would be the date you actually moved or started work.
So, in order for the argument to succeed, you would have to prove not only that this date was somehow written in after you signed the agreement and without your knowledge or consent, but also that your understanding of the term "relocated/employment" was something other than the common meaning of those words.
When you first asked the question, I thought that the repayment clause took effect only if you quit within the first 730 days. If that were the case, this whole mess could be avoided by simply withdrawing your notice of intent to quit and pushing things back, as your employment has not yet officially ended. However, if the repayment clause still takes effect even if you are fired, there is really no way around it because your employer can let you go even if you rescind your notice.
An employee cannot simply take sick days to avoid being fired. An employer has a legal right to limit the use of paid sick days to only those days on which an employee is actually sick and may request reasonable medical verification. So, this cannot be used as a delay tactic to avoid having your employment terminated prior to 730 days.
The only argument I see having any traction here is the last one you raised--that your position was "in the process of being eliminated." However, the fact remains that your position had not yet been eliminated. You could conceivably argue that elimination of your position was eminent and that you are exempt from repayment pursuant to that clause in your contract, but this is still questionable at best.
If I am being completely honest, which I assume you will appreciate, I don't see too many ways to spin this. Your contract starts the 730 days beginning on the date of relocation/employment, and your contract states that date is the 27th. Even if you argued that this date was somehow marked in without your knowledge or agreement (quite a difficult thing to prove), you would then be tasked with proving that your interpretation fo this date as the date you signed the agreement was reasonable. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a judge or jury to say that it was.
Since the 730 day provision does not apply if your termination ends due to elimination of your position, your strongest (though still rather weak) argument is that you quit due to the imminent elimination of your position. Lastly, you may cause your employer some pause if you characterize this repayment provision as an unlawful deduction from wages, though provisions providing for repayment of location costs have generally been upheld by courts as legal.
Again, I am truly sorry that I cannot provide more positive news here, but I trust that you will nonetheless still find value in the information I have provided above.
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