Do I have to pay back my employer an outrageous amount of moving expenses if I have quotes that would have cost them so much less?

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Do I have to pay back my employer an outrageous amount of moving expenses if I have quotes that would have cost them so much less?

I am voluntarily leaving an employee who paid a third party to move me within state, about 150 miles. I signed a contract saying I would repay them the full amount of the moving expenses if I left before 12 months within 30 days of my last day. I got quotes so I would understand about how much I would have to pay if I left. When, I asked, they verbally told me it was double the amount I was expecting. I asked for a breakdown of charges, in which they entered values in a spreadsheet. They charged me for several things that were included in the other companies quotes like insurance, debris pick up, etc. by the way, I called the actual van line that moved me and their quote was also about half as well. The moving specialist clearly put a significant upcharge on everything. None of this is actual proof of what they paid. I asked for copies of invoices and contracts they signed on my behalf. The employer is trying to make me pay interest on disbursements which is basically how much interest the moving specialist charged them for not sending prompt payment. I don’t understand what their invoice system has anything to do with me as an employer. I never signed anything requesting insurance or debris pick up. I actually asked about this specifically to the moving specialist and they said it was included, yet they charged the employer separately for it. Do I actually have to reimburse the employer for this relocation package at this inflated price and pay interest because they made a late payment? I don’t think its my fault that the employer did not do their due diligence in getting multiple quotes and clearly not wanting to spend their hard earned money in a cost-effective manner like an individual would with their money. Nor did I set up with invoicing system. I have tried explaining this to them and negotiating a lower repayment, but they are not budging. I want to know if there is anything else I can legally do.

Asked on February 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you signed an agreement stating that you would repay their costs, you must repay them: you have no grounds to argue about the extent of the cost unless the contract itself gave you grounds, such as by stating that you would have to repay the "reasonable" cost (so then you could challenge whether it was reasonable) or if it put some cap or limit on what you might be charged. But if you signed a contract simply saying that you repay whatever the costs are, you are bound to that agreement and must repay their costs, with the exception that you do not have to pay interest or other late payment fee/penalty which is owed only due to the employer's failure to pay on time.


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