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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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I am a nurse. My formal employer is suing me for reimbursement

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I am a nurse. My formal employer is suing me for reimbursement for a sign on bonus I have received for not completing my contract. The problem is...when I left my job I was forced out. I had a case against them for a false positive drug test. After the investigation it was proven that indeed the results was false and my HIPPA Act was violated. I was t.old then I could continue my employment in which I did. Months later I was accused of I was accused I violated a patient HIAAP Act by asking if the patient had any STD history after the patient mother refused to leave the room. Therefore I was requested to resign. I told my employer I wanted nothing but peace. Now they are saying I owe them $975. When in true I chose not to sue if they left me alone. Now I want blood...can you help me.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

A few questions if I may. When were you forced out? Did you get a chance to review this contract pertaining to this bonus, and if so, did this contract have language pertaining to reimbursement regardless of who breached the contract? I ask as some agreements permit reimbursement only when someone quits or is terminated for cause, but not for other times. When did they send you the demand letter?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was forced out around 04/2011. I seen the contract when I signed 18 months earlier....but did not thought any thing about it. The understanding was I would not sue them if the just left me alone.


Thank you for your follow-up. The period of time that has gone by is somewhat worrisome, I am concerned you may be beyond the statutory period to pursue (which I will check while you are responding to my next set of questions). How long ago did they demand you pay back this amount, when did you receive their demands? Did you still keep a copy of that contract, and if not, can you obtain a copy of the contract if needed?

Also, this 'understanding' that you are referring to, was this ever reduced to writing or was just something both parties orally agreed to?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Someone left a legal doc on my door step this Saturday 08/31. I have not heard from them since Oct 27 2011 When I contacted NAACP. I thought this matter was closed.

Thank you for your follow-up.

It does sound like you expected it to be closed. Was anything here reduced to writing, tht is, that you would quit and they would not pursue you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No not in writing but I did have a phone call from someone from the hospital I told them I was not playing...I would sue them if the didn't leave me alone and $975 Would be pennies to what I would seek in damages. So the calls truly stop. I have copies of drug tests, documents of events a the letter I sent to NAACP. I thought this was finished.


Let me go down the list based on what I see. If at any time you need to clarify something or you feel that I have missed something, please use the 'reply' button and I will be happy to further explain.

The first issue is your claim of discrimination and essentially wrongful termination. It i a valid claim but the problem is that the statute of limitations on filing suit for something like that is no more than 300 days from date of when the adverse action took place. At this o point it has been too long fro you to go to the EEOC, for example, and start up this claim. While you could in theory retain counsel, with this being so far behind the statutory period, I do not see any attorney taking this without a retainer and I also do not see a successful outcome on that end. It might well be that is the reason they waited to serve you just now--they wanted to make sure that your legal options would have been limited due to expiration of statute. Further, this is not really an NAACP matter--they would argue that this is contractual rather than civil rights based, and would point to the language in the agreement allowing them to collect the funds.

Speaking of the contract, that is really what is most important here, and if you could obtain a copy that may help create more options for you. The contract you signed under which term you obtain the bonus likewise has to denote under which options they could seek the funds. Perhaps you could argue in court that as they compelled you to leave without good cause, they could not pursue you for the funds. Of course what weakens this position is no writing on your end, but if there are emails or communications, perhaps an implied agreement could be argued.

I do apologize for being direct here but I do not see a cause of action that would be successful against the company--I do see a means to potentially successfully defend yourself against their letter via this argument in court, but technically it's been too long to sue them at this time. Hope that helps and please let me know if I can clarify anything else.

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