Can a requirement to re-pay a relocation assistance be enforced contractually if the offer letter states none of the letter is to be construed a contract in California

I accepted a job in northern California. In the company's offer letter they offered a relocation assistance. They further required that it be repaid if I left prior to one years employment. The letter then states that no part of the letter of is to be considered a contract. Can they enforce the re-payment requirement?

2 answers  |  asked Feb 9, 2015 09:50 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Arkady Itkin
More likely, the letters state that it's not considered a contract for employment, but relocation assistance repayment provision is enforceable. In these kinds of situations it's best to approach the employer in person and work out a deal informally and amicable. In many cases, the employer will reduce or waive the obligation with the right approach on an employee's part.

Thanks,

Arkady

posted by Arkady Itkin  |  Feb 9, 2015 11:51 AM [EST]
Marilynn Mika Spencer
Maybe or maybe not. An attorney would have to review the entire offer letter AND any related communications before analyzing whether the repayment provision or any of the document is enforceable. Importantly, a contract can consist of more than one document.

Note, too, that oral contracts are enforceable in California, although there is an obvious issue of proving the terms of an oral contract.

The circumstances of your leaving the company also matter.

In addition, there are industry standards that a court may read into a contract that is silent on those terms depending on various factors.

I hope there is a good resolution to this situation.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Feb 9, 2015 11:16 AM [EST]

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