Do I have to pay a company back for merchandise that was bought with false rewards

My former employer has a rewards system that they expect employees to keep 85

of customers signed up. When customers refuse I put in a family members rewards . They earned $60 in rewards money and shopped with it. Our policy states we are not allowed to put our own in and nobody can shop with other people’s rewards. I did neither, however they pressured me into stating that I used the rewards because my mother bought my daughter stuff with it. They forced me to sign a paper stating I

would pay back the 60 worth of rewards basically

Asked on February 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you violate their policy, they can require you to pay the amount back. If you disagree that you did anything wrong, you would have had the right to refuse to pay and force them to sue you for the money. (Though note: if you do not have a written employment contract protecting your employment, they could also terminate you.)
However, if you signed anything, you are bound to what you signed: the law requires competent adults to read everything before they sign it, and presumes that if you signed it, you read and understood it--and then holds you to what you signed. You can say that you were "forced" to sign, but the law does not treat this as being coerced or forced, since you legally could have refused to sign and then left it them to sue you or take other legal action if they wanted. (Not having a good choice or option is not being "forced" in the law: being forced is something like being threatened with violence.) So having signed the documents, you must do as you agreed.


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