How much relocation will I have to payback to my company if I leave a month or even days before my anniversary date?

I transferred with my current company about 10 months ago. I signed a relocation agreement stating the I would payback my relocation if I left before a year was up. I was wondering if the amount would be prorated since I have worked for the company 10 months. I just started looking for a position and I don’t want to decline an offer because I would have to start a week before the year is up.

Asked on June 13, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Prorating the amount you would repay is reasonable and you *should* be able to negotiate that with your company. The reason "should" is emphasized is that it is not a given unless the contract specifically allows for proration. If not--if the contract simply says that you shall repay the relocation if you leave before year is up--then legally, whether it is reasonable or not, you are obligated to repay the full amount. Thus, while you could negotiate a smaller amount of repayment, your company is not obligated to accept that offer.

If you only have two months to go, it is probably best to delay leaving your company until those two months are up so as to avoid a potentially costly repayment. You might put your job search on hold for another 4 - 6 weeks; then by the time you resume it, even if you were offered a new position almost right away, given that a minimum of two weeks notice to the current employer is customary, it would be entirely reasonable to delay taking the new position to after the 1 year is up. (And if your prospective new employer would *not* let you delay starting by 2 weeks when you have a compelling reason, you should ask yourself if they're someone you'd want to work for, anyway.)


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