How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I live in CA and was employed by The City of Oakland as a Police

This answer was rated:

I live in CA and was employed by The City of Oakland as a Police Officer. I was told I signed a contract while I was in the Police Academy stating that I had to stay employed with the City for 5 years or pay a percentage of the academy cost. I left after 3 years due to talks of layoffs of Officers for another department. I am being sued by the city in small claims court for approx $3500 for the two years that I have not fullfilled with the city. I have been told that the contract is illegal and I have asked twice for a copy of the contract and was told it could not be found. Earlier this year, the city sent a letter that they would take the $3500 out of my tax returns but it never happened.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

What question do you have regarding your situation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just wondering if they have any ground to stand on for the suit?

Hello Russell,

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

In short, no, your former employer, the City of Oakland, does not have a leg to stand on in this suit.

Without a copy of the contract that you allegedly signed the employer would be very hard pressed to make out a case, and even less likely to make out a believable one, as the judge would have to trust that such a contract existed and was destroyed. This is extremely unlikely.

Additionally, even if they were to come up with a copy of the contract you allegedly signed, an employer is required to indemnify an employee for any and all expenditures made in the direct discharge of his or he duties.

This is due to California Labor Code Section 2802(a):

"2802. (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all
necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct
consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her
obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful,
unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed
them to be unlawful."

This includes time and money that is spent on training that is required by the employer. Since your training at the police academy was definitely required by your employer for you to work, it is your employer's responsibility to pay for that training, and they cannot get around that by having you sign a contract stating you'd pay them back if you leave before five years.

Since my goal is to provide you with the best service today, please don't hesitate to ask my any follow up questions.

If you don't have any, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!


(If you don't rate my answer, the website recoups your entire deposit and I get nothing for assisting you. Trust me when I tell you I need the money WAY more than they do, so I would greatly appreciate if you accept my answer!)

Joseph and 3 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related California Employment Law Questions