What happens if I owe my employer education loans if I leave early, however they are now closing?

The company I work for paid for my master’s degree and I signed a document saying that if I

leave voluntarily within 36 months of graduation, I must repay them within 30 days of leaving. Well, my company was recently acquired by another and is closing down all operations in the US. The company has informed me that I will not have a job as of 6 months from now. If I leave to pursue another opportunity before then, would I have to pay them back even though they have in writing given me notice of my termination?

Asked on June 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes: it doesn't matter that that you know you will be terminated on, say, December 9, 2016--until December 9, 2016 you are employed, and if you leave early (that is, you quit or resign), it will a voluntary termination of employment and you will have to repay the loans. You need to stay until *the employer* terminates your employment; you can't voluntarily leave, even for very understandable reasons under these circumstances, without triggering the repayment requirement. That doesn't mean you can't accept an offer ahead of time--just have the start date be after the termination date, and say nothing to your current employer about leaving or your next job.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.