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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17447
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Relocation package dispute with employer

Customer Question

I joined Philly, PA based company, which promised me bigger and better role but after working with them 5 weeks, I realized that role was much junior and does not fit to my skill sets. I resigned from company. They provided my 5 weeks of accommodation and airfare. I sign a agreement while joining that any relo expense will be recovered if I leave company within 2 years. After resigning HR contacted me for pay back $19, 000 (13000 accommodation+6000 Gross up-Tax)/ and I told the reason why I resigned. They have sent debt to collection agency. I tried to negotiate with them and offer reasonable money but did not agree so far and keep insisting that I need pay in full. I don't have so much money. Do I need to pay full amt, what are my options? Please helpAgreement says like this " I understand if full relocation cost not paid to company within 30 days following my termination or voluntary resignation that I will be responsible for all company costs expenses including but not limited to attorney's fees and other legal costs incurred by the company in seeking enforce this repayment provision, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law"
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello: This isCustomer I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
I joined Philly, PA based company, which promised me bigger and better role but after working with them 5 weeks, I realized that role was much junior and does not fit to my skill sets. I resigned from company. They provided my 5 weeks of accommodation and airfare. I sign a agreement while joining that any relo expense will be recovered if I leave company within 2 years. After resigning HR contacted me for pay back $19, 000 (13000 accommodation+6000 Gross up-Tax)/ and I told the reason why I resigned. They have sent debt to collection agency. I tried to negotiate with them and offer reasonable money but did not agree so far and keep insisting that I need pay in full. I don't have so much money. Do I need to pay full amt, what are my options? Please helpAgreement says like this " I understand if full relocation cost not paid to company within 30 days following my termination or voluntary resignation that I will be responsible for all company costs expenses including but not limited to attorney's fees and other legal costs incurred by the company in seeking enforce this repayment provision, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law"
Response: Unfortunately, you have to pay the amount in full or risk litigation, which may not work out in your favor. Then you have to pay the added costs of litigation.
You may argue that you were forced to resign because the company did not meet its part of the agreement--that the company did not provide you with “bigger and better role” as promised. That the company's breach released you from further obligation under the contract and thus you are not liable for the repayment of the relocation cost. The Court may or may not be persuaded by this argument after hearing from both sides. If the Court rules against you, you would owe more than the $19,000.00 that the company is currently requesting from you. However, if the the Court finds in your favor, then you do not have to pay anything. Also, you can ask the Court to order the company to pay for your Court costs.

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