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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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My Employer is threatening to Sue me if I leave company

Customer Question

My Employer is threatening to Sue me if I leave company before 24 months.
There is something mentioned in offer letter that I need to pay $20000 if I leave the organisation before 2 years of completion. Di I really need to pay $20000 after completing 1 year with the same employer?
Please advice me how can I proceed.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Can you attach the letter to your reply? Or tell me specifically what the verbiage states in the letter?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
RELOCATION & OTHER EXPENSES: XXX will reimburse you for all of the
reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by you to relocate as agreed between
you and XXX. You will be required to repay all of the relocation expenses to
XXX in the event that you do not complete at least 24 months of employment
with XXX Inc. If your employment is terminated prior to completing 24 months of
service (whether such employment is terminated by XXX Inc or you) then you
must reimburse XXX Inc for any such relocation expenses. In the event you decide
to terminate this employment agreement within 24 months from the actual start
date with XXX Inc, you agree to pay XXX Inc a sum of $ 20,000 towards the
training provided before joining and during employment with XXX and also to
cover the business loss. XXX would vigorously seek any and all legal redress
and compensation, including injunctive relief and reasonable attorney’s fees in
enforcing to collect the due amounts to XXX.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.
The contract is very clear. Relocation expenses and/or $20k for training are to be repaid if the employee leaves the company prior to 24 months.
Technically, someone in your situation can challenge the contract as unconscionable. This means that the contract is SO one sided that it should be unenforceable. See Whitney v. Alltel Communications, Inc., 173 SW 3d 300 - Mo: Court of Appeals, Western Dist. 2005. However, I am afraid this would be a long shot - there is no guarantee that the Court will agree.
So yes, someone in your situation may have to pay back the money if the employment ends before 24 hours (if you leave voluntarily, I doubt the Court will impose the clause if one is let go).
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Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!