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Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  In-House Counsel & Litigator
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Im currently working for contractor company that lost a government

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I'm currently working for contractor company that lost a government contract. They will be challenging the government to keep the contract. Back in 2011 I signed a bonus letter to stay with the company until they rebid and won the rebid on the contract. The incoming winning contractor company is interviewing me and wants me to provide my resume and pay stubs. The previous contract company has found out that I have been contacted by the incoming company and now they want their bonus that I received back in 2011. Are they allowed to take this bonus out of my paycheck or take the bonus back?
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I do want to congratulate you on the interest from the other contractor. You must be very good at your job and that is quite an honor. To that end, I suspect, based on what you are telling me that your current employer realizes they may lose a great employee and are using fear-factor tactics to prevent this from happening.

Predicated on your paraphrasing of your contractual obligations in view of the bonus, it appears that you have met your terms of the agreement, they re-bid and lost. Unless there is some other contractual language that allows them to act in this way that I am not aware of, then I fail to see any reasonable basis by which they can make this threat. As such, I see no reason for you to worry about this threat as it appears to be hollow.

In an abundance of caution, you should ask them to specifically point out any and all contractual language that they claim allows them to take this position. In essence, you should call their bluff. I am willing to bet, unless there is some other contractual language to which they are relying, that they will back down and leave you alone.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. I want to make sure that you are satisfied and comfortable moving forward.

Best wishes going forward.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

can they legally take money from my paycheck, garnish my wages if I answer their question that I have been contacted by the other company, or do I lie and say I haven't been contacted or just not answer their email. and if I lie what can they do to me, we have a 90 day transition period beyond the challenge period, so this could be 4-5 months of drawn out anxiety!

Unless they have a contractual basis by or through which they can limit or garnish wages, then they would be subject to being sued by you for taking such an action. As such, be sure to read through your current contract very thoroughly. If they is no basis for them taking such action, be open and honest. You may be able to turn the tables on them and demand more money.

If they have challenged the awarding of the bid, then technically it would appear that perhaps their ability to remove the bonus is still in play.

Even still, unless contractually stated, they cannot harm you financially simply because you were contacted by a competitor.
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