Are there legal grounds to avoid reimbursing my former employeer

I recently resigned from my company to seek a new career path. The primary reason was to separate myself from a high stress environment working as a manager in the nuclear power utility business. My challenge is that I just relocated to one of our remote work location in Arkansas which included relocation expenses signed repayment agreement. Due to my resignation I am liable to pay back these expenses which total 23,340.
Are there any circumstances that I would allow me to negotiate any or all of this agreement to pay back my company?

Asked on April 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you had a signed agreement, as you indicate, with the employer under which, if you resigned (or at least resigned within a certain time frame), you would have to repay the relocation expenses, then you have to repay them: such agreements have consistently been found legal and enforceable, and if you do not pay, they could sue you for the money. Based on what you write, you do not appar to have any viable  defenses to repayment.
You can of course try to negotiate for lower payment or payment over time, but you would have no "leverage" in those negotiations, other than the employer's potential willingness to accept less money now without having to fight for it (a fight which will take time and cost them some money, even though they will almost certainly win).
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