What to do if I signed a contract stating that the training my employer provided me was equivalent to $25,000 and that if I didn’t work for them for 2 years I would owe them this amount but now I want to leave?

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What to do if I signed a contract stating that the training my employer provided me was equivalent to $25,000 and that if I didn’t work for them for 2 years I would owe them this amount but now I want to leave?

No formal training was ever provided to me upon employment. I have the opportunity to work elsewhere and would like to but I do not want to break my contract and owe my current employer this money.

Asked on September 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the contract specified the exact training you would receive, then if you did not receive it, you may well be able to escape the repayment terms because your employer would have breached the contract by not providing the specified training. But if no specific training were identified, then it could be taken that simply the informal experience, mentoring, and instruction in the job constitutes the training. In that case, it could be dangerous to quit before 2 years are out, since a contract where an employee agrees to pay a certain sum if he or she leaves early are, as a general matter, enforceable. You may still be able to show that you did not receive anything of value to bind the contract "consideration" if you did not even receive informal training or mentoring, but 1 be aware that you could lose and 2 even if you win, if the employer sues you, you will spend time and money defending the suit.
This answer is based on general principals for a more definitive answer, you should take a copy of the contract to an employment law attorney to review with you, discussing the facts with him/her in detail the facts and the specific langauge of a contract are critical to understanding your rights.


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