If you were given a sign on bonus and three weeks after hire they terminate you, are you required to pay back bonus if the contract does not say anything about termination just if you resign you pay back bonus? Can they withhold your paycheck?

This was termination out of retaliation. I reported patient safety issues, black mold throughout building and age discrimination towards me. Have photos and evidence. That same day they walked in and terminated me after just three weeks of hire. My sign on bonus contract does not say anything about me repaying if I am terminated only if I resign. I want to make sure that they can not take my final paychecks. Please help me.

1 answer  |  asked Jan 5, 2019 07:29 AM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Adam Kielich
The most accurate answer depends upon the language of your hiring documents. Without seeing those it is difficult to give you advice specific to your situation.

Generally, employers structure hiring bonuses so that they must be repaid if you terminate employment, not the other way around. But again, without seeing your hiring documents there's no way to give you meaningful advice specific to your employment situation.

Best advice I can give you under these circumstances is to talk to a local employment lawyer about the situation. Even if the hiring documents do not require you to repay the hiring bonus if fired, the employer might still try to hold up paychecks or deny unemployment. You may also have whistleblower or age discrimination-related claims to consider pursuing.

posted by Adam Kielich  |  Jan 6, 2019 12:48 AM [EST]

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