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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have a question in regards ***** ***** repayment and ability to fight on pro-rate

Customer Question

Hello, I have a question in regards ***** ***** repayment and ability to fight on pro-rate based on excessive work done for company and vacation that was promised in writing but not delivered.
company offered me to stay and collect bonus but I had a job aligned and already worked this year 132 hours that are reported and capitalized by company (i was working director/ manager). I am trying to prorate based on when they paid me as education was part of development. I was with company for over 9 years.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What specifically does your contract provide for?
Can you also please explain the specific circumstances of this situation in more detail so we better understand what is going on?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Based on following background I am lookging for some relief:
1. My education requests started in 2012 by at that time's supervisors written approval for post bachelor education and preparation for future roles (document of file and available).
2. There are documented Performance reviews with previous supervisor highlighting education toward future roles as well
3. In July of 2015 during my vacation I worked four (4) days based on my current supervisor request. Vacation days adjustment was promised via text message by my supervisor but adjustments were not made and I did not use these days (text communication recorded and available)
4. Offer to stay and work additional 3 weeks (120 hrs) and collect bonus in USA was never feasible as I signed contract with new employer
a. However I did work 632 hrs this year as of March 31st (132 hrs overtime/ weekend work). Even my position is overtime exempt by labor law in MI, my hours are capitalized as I am working manager/ director.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Company is requesting full tuition payment back of 12k based on promisary notes signed by myself.
I am requesting to do the pro-rate which would be a total of $ 8k based on above.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Did the employer guarantee payment of your education, that is the issue? An employer is not obligated to pay for an employee's education absent some written agreement to do so and that is what I needed to know to know if you have any leverage. I need to know what specifically that agreement states.
Working 4 days instead of taking vacation is not part of this issue, that is a separate wage claim and the supervisor has to reinstate or pay you for the vacation time they took you did not use. As you know you are not entitled to overtime as an exempt employee, but certainly cannot have vacation time taken when you did not use it and that is money you are entitled to have refunded if they did not give you the days.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Agreement states I will pay in full if I leave within two years from date tuition payments taken.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the agreement does not provide for pro-rating, the courts hold they have to abide by whatever the agreement says exactly. So if this were to go to court there would be no pro-rating.
As far as you arguing for getting some reduction in what you have to repay for tuition/education, you can negotiate with the employer to agree to change the terms of your contract and argue that they did benefit financially from your education and you need to explain how your education did benefit them and it is still up to the employer's discretion as they are legally bound only to the wording of the contract.
The fact you showed up to work and did your job and you even put in more than 40 hours a week as an exempt employee would really not give you any legal leverage. You have to show how specifically your education benefited the company directly in order to have a strong argument that they should give you some discount for what the contract says you have to repay.