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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5685
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I left my employment. The company owed me $10,000+ in

Customer Question

I left my employment. The company owed me $10,000+ in reimbursed expenses. They said they would pay me when they could and whatever they could. I had a two year non-compete. they did not pay me. now they say they decide a while ago that they are not going to pay me and wished me good luck. Do I have any recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Is there an agreement or policy within their handbook that states they reimburse expenses?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not know if it specificly states that but they paid all submitted expenses for several years before and was making payments on those receipts during the employment period and a few payments after the employment ended. Two the employees that were in the same position at the same time but have since left both had all of their expenses reimbursed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Their is a lot more detail to this. If it is easier I can call or you can call.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The company accepted the receipts, starting making small payments on them. I also have an email where they say they do owe me the reimbursement. This is after I left the company.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a reimbursement clause. It says they will make a timely effort to reimburse you as long as all reports are submitted properly. Mine were submitted correctly and that clause was never mentioned. Non Compete - 2 yrs. and Interference and Non- Disparagement - 3 yrs.
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

The written policy is somewhat indefinite - "they will make a timely effort to reimburse". But, you have a long history of the reimbursing and others were reimbursed. But the bigger problem is that you'd have to sue them in court to get your money because your state does not mediate or investigate reimbursements on employees' behaves. So you could claim an implied contract for reimbursement and you'd win.

Now, in regard to the non-compete, these are separate issues. The non-compete may or may not be binding on you. Most non-competes in existence aren't enforceable because they do not protect a legitimate business interest, which courts require to enforce a non-compete. There is even a sandwich chain that requires sandwich makers to sign non-competes - those non-competes certainly aren't enforceable, but what is someone who makes near minimum wage going to do to invalidate the agreement in court? If you want to tell the employer that you'll compete because they breached your employment contract by not paying the reimbursements...that way you avoid the cost of having to litigate to have the non-compete ruled invalid. Or you could just go and compete and see what if anything they do - if they challenge you, then counter-sue for the reimbursements.