My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: CA
My past employer wants me to reimburse the pro-rated part of relocation assistance and lease breakage provided to me when I joined the company. Following are details of the case:
I was working with employer A in X city, CA. I went through the interview selection process for employer B and got selected for work at location Y, CA. I negotiated with the employer B for relocation assistance from city X to Y and lease breakage for my apt in city X. Employer detailed the salary, relocation assistance and lease breakage details as follows on my offer letter (actual excerpts, figures not stated):
- An annual gross salary of $xxxxx (US Dollars xxxxxx)
- Relocation Assistance of up to $xxx (US Dollar xxx) in accordance to Company's relocation policy.
- Lease breakage cost of up to $xxx (US Dollar xxx) as per company's policy
The employment agreement states the following with respect to relocation (actual excerpts):
3.1 If employee terminates his/her employment with employer prior to completing twelve (12) months of service, Employee agrees to reimburse Employer a pro-rata portion for Employer's actual costs of any relocation expenses advanced by Employer to Employee for the last relocation during that period. Employee's relocation obligation shall be reduced by one-twelfth (1/12) for each month that employee remained in service following the last relocation during the twelve (12) month period.
3.2 By using this Employment Agreement, Employee expressly agrees to these reimbursement obligations and expressly authorizes Employer to deduct the maximum amounts allowed by law from Employee's final paycheck to be credited against Employees obligations to employer under section 3.1
I worked with the employer for 6 months, having said that what I understand as per the employment agreement is that I am liable for pro rated reimbursement of relocation assistance i.e. $1500/2 = $750.
But the employer has sent me a letter asking for me to reimburse $2750. When I checked with the employer how come I owe so much he told me that I am even liable for pro-rated reimbursement of lease breakage amount also.
I have already paid $1421 and employer is demanding the remaining $1329. At this point I sincerely feel that I have overpaid as to what I owe (as per my understanding). The reason I paid over and above what I owe ($750) was due to their constant threats of legal actions.
I am trying to contend them on this and asked them to show me that part of the agreement which states that I am liable for lease breakage or where it is stated that lease breakage is part of relocation assistance and they are not answering this question straight. Also they are asking my current address though my old address is forwarded to my new address.
Can any gurus on this forum please advice me what should I do..?? Do I really owe them the amount they claim...?? What does the law says in this respect.