Repayment of move benefit after layoff at new location

I was laid off after moving here only 5 1/2 months ago from corporate headquarters in another state. Part of the move benefit included a high cost of living package that paid part of the house down payment and bought down the monthly interest payment for 5 years. The basic severance package offered is good, however, the company wants the money back for the high cost of living package. The document we signed for the high cost benefit stated that if I leave for any reason then the company may ask for repayment of this benefit.

It seems unfair for the company to ask for repayment of this benefit. I am not leaving of my own volition or being asked to leave for cause. It will force me to sell the house, move, and suffer financial lose due to the accompanying downturn in the housing market.

Is it reasonable and worthwhile to press the company to change their position with regard to repayment of this benefit?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 29, 2001 12:27 PM [EST]  |  applies to Massachusetts

Answers (1)

Judith Miller
It never hurts to ask

Whether the company can require you to repay the "high cost of living" benefit depends primarily on the wording of the agreement, but the company's past practice as well as representations made to you before or at the time you signed the relocation agreement may have a bearing on the answer, as well. In any event, you may initially want to try asking them to reconsider this decision based just on the equity issue here.

posted by Judith Miller  |  Oct 29, 2001 1:03 PM [EST]

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