Are you required to pay back relocation to a company under a contract if you sign a document on your last day of employment stating you do not owe the company money?

I signed a contract with my company in NJ stating that I
would pay back my relocation package worth about 16k
if I voluntarily resigned from the company within 24 months
of employment. I resigned after 19 months, and on my last
day with the company, HR presented me with a document
stating that I have no balance due for relocation to the
company. About 2 months after leaving the company, they
reached out to me to be paid back the full amount, and said
that the contract I signed on my last day stating I owe
nothing was a misunderstanding between departments. Is
there any way that the second document would void my
original contract so that I do not owe the company any
money?

Asked on June 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the document you describe signing on the last day does not in fact appear to be a contract, since you do not appear to have given the employer any "consideration," or anything of value, in exchange for being told there was a $0 balance. When there is no consideration, there is no enforceable agreement--the statement that you owed nothing is therefore not anything you can hold the employer to. (All contracts, to be enforceable, require an exchange of consideration--each party must give the other side something of value in exchange for it is receiving.)
 


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