If I quit, can my boss request that I pay him back for the personal expenses that he paid for me while I was employed?

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If I quit, can my boss request that I pay him back for the personal expenses that he paid for me while I was employed?

About 10 months ago, my boss asked me if I want a monetary raise or a new vehicle. I chose the vehicle. I traded in my old car, paid the downpayment and with that started a 36 month lease. My boss has been making the payments on the lease. The vehicle is in my name only. The boss has also been paying for my car insurance. So I didn’t see more money in my bank account but I got a new car as a raise – I wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise. Now I am concerned that he will come after me if I decide to get a different job. Can he?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends entirely on what the agreement between you and he was. It would be legal for him to have paid it all, regardless of whether you stay employed or not. It would be legal for him to make payments as long as you are employed, but then stop--but also not seek return of the payments he's already made. Or it would be legal for your boss to seek return of all monies for the car to date paid if you leave before the end of the lease. Any of these scenarios--or additional ones, which are also possible--are legal, so it all comes down to what was agreed. If you and your boss disagree about what the agreement was, you may end up in litigation, where you and he will each try to prove your interpretation, based on testimony, any emails or correspondence or memos, etc.


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