Can a document be drafted to prevent an employee from leaving on their own accord if they have an outstanding personal debt to their employer?

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Can a document be drafted to prevent an employee from leaving on their own accord if they have an outstanding personal debt to their employer?

For instance, said employee has borrowed $2700 in the form of a personal loan

between himself and the owner. I want to write up a document that states unless the employee is terminated, he can’t leave on his own accord unless said debt is cleared. Are their any legalities I need to know about before doing this?

Asked on February 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *can't* stop him from leaving if he wants--the law does not let you require someone to keep working for you or stop them from leaving or changing jobs.
What you can do is have an agreement that the entire unpaid amount of the loan comes due *immediately* if the employee quits or resigns. That will provide an incentive to remain until it's paid. You can further provide that if not paid immediately (e.g. within 30 days of resignation), it will accrue interest at the interest rate for judgments in your state (currently 4.75%) and also that if you have to sue him to collect, he will pay all filing fees and reasonable legal expenses.


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