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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20357
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I have a family member who is considered an expatriate within

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I have a family member who is considered an expatriate within his company. Since he has been employed he has received additional benefits such as tuition reimbursement, etc. In his expat written contract it states that he will receive one months salary for every yr he is employed. He receives this money if he leaves, is laid off or is terminated for anything other than misbehavior. The company wants to terminate the expat program and does not want to pay out but has written a new contract that he must go back to his home country in order to receive payment. The new contract has not been signed so does that mean the old contract stands and can he legally go after the money that is due to him?

Thank you for the information and your question. However, I am not clear on what is going on here. Is the family member here on a work visa? If he has a formal employment contract that contains all the terms of employment, including his eligibility for severance pay (which is what you described), what is the new contract related to? Why would he be signing a new contract if he is being let go? Can you please explain what the new contract is titled and what it covers? (I understand what you are saying that it says about paying him when he returns to his country of origin, but what is the reason for this new contract?)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He has received his us citizenship as of a few yrs ago but was still left under the company's expat program. Why, I don't know. He is still currently employed but they are trying to get him to sign a new contract which states that he only receives the severance money if he returns to his home country. Essentially they are bullying him into signing another contract so he can continue to work there. They are terminating the ex pat package and want him to sign a new agreement basically giving up his benefits for continuation of employment. It states that continuation of his employment is based upon his acceptance of this agreement. The new contract increases his salary to cover tuition reimbursement expenses for our children, yearly economy class ticket costs to visit his home country, and car expenses. These expenses were all paid under the ex pat program and they have added it into his salary which is fair. However they are changing the rules on us by saying his severance will not be paid out unless he goes back to his home country. Furthermore, it was set up where he was paid a small amount overseas which his employer is terminating and will not reimburse him in his salary on the us side.
Hello again and thank you for the additional information, it was helpful. I understand what is happening. In essence the employer is asking him to waive his rights under the old contract in exchange for continued employment. That, unfortunately, is lawful, as long as they are not breaching the old contract in terms of the way in which they are terminating it. If they are not, and they have a right to terminate the contract or not, your family member has a choice. That is either to walk away from the job now and to receive his severance payments or to waive those payments in exchange for a new contract/job with the employer.

I might recommend that he take the contracts, both of them old and new, to a local employment law attorney who can actually read them apart and together in light of his job, status, what he has been told about his position/program ending, and then see if the attorney can find any way that he can have both the severance and continued employment.

I am guessing that the original contract, which hired him when was here on a work visa says something about how payment of the severance will be made and that is what they are hanging their hats on when they say he doesn't get the severance unless he leaves the country. But again, I highly recommend he have a local attorney read both of those contracts.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is there a case against an employer if they are cutting your pay and your appraisals have always been good and there have not been any misbehavior/write ups? They are not cutting the pay of any other ee's within the company, just targeting one ee.
Hello again,

Thank you for your question. However, because this is a new question, it must be opened in a new thread. The Site TOS rules do not allow me to answer a new question in an old thread. You can just open a new question and ask for me.