Relocation contract

I took a job with a company in April-2005. They helped with my expence of moving my wife with me and all my house hold goods. We moved into our new home in June-2005. The company had asked me to sign a 24 month contract where if I were to leave before 24 months I would pay back the prorated portion of what was left for relocation. The man I replaced took a higher position (my boss)and since the origenal man who hired me is retired my boss has turned into a real jerk. I didn't think people treated people like that. He has been nothing but nasty. He has told me a I have a disablity and he is sorry they ever hired me. I try very hard but to no end, I can't please this guy. I have found a company that would like to hire me in the area I live in now but I have this contract hanging over my head. HELP


Mike S.

2 answers  |  asked Aug 27, 2006 8:10 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Christopher Ezold
Your employer's behavior may amount to a breach of the contract.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, your employer's behavior may amount to a breach of the contract. Furthermore, if you are perceived to have a disability, whether you have one or not, you may have a claim of disability discrimination. Such a claim may also amount to a breach of contract by your employer.

If your employer breached the contract first, you may nto have an obligation to repay any relocation costs. You may also want to consider that there is only about 1/4 of the costs left to pay if you were to leave now. Even if you have to repay that 1/4, it may be worth the money to do so due to the stress and abuse you are enduring.

I would need to review your contract in detail to be able to give you advice on the legal and practical paths you can take to resolve this problem. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Aug 28, 2006 8:02 PM [EST]
Harold Goldner
Contract interpretation depends upon the contract!

Please understand that without seeing the specific contract, it is impossible for legal counsel to adequately advise you on this matter, so you have to consider the following response in light of that fact.

It is reasonable for an employer to seek reimbursement of costs associated with hiring you, especially if it has been written into a contract.

On the other hand, your supervisor's comments about 'your disability,' raise a different issue. Discrimination against the disabled is unlawful if you: (1) have a record of disability; (2) are actually disabled; or (3) are 'regarded as' disabled.

It sounds like your supervisor regards you as disabled (since you haven't otherwise mentioned whether you are, in fact, disabled, and I cannot get into that definition in the short space of this already lengthy response).

If you are suffering 'severe and pervasive' harassment because you are regarded as disabled, your supervisor is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, and this may provide you the leverage you need to negotiate your way 'out' or 'around' the terms of the contract.

That's the general response; you really do need to consult an employment law attorney with contract in hand for a more thorough response, and one that you can rely upon to plot your next step.

posted by Harold Goldner  |  Aug 27, 2006 11:40 PM [EST]

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