What is my liability if I moved out of state for a job and my employer offered to pay my moving expenses plus some of my rent but now I’m leaving to moving back?

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What is my liability if I moved out of state for a job and my employer offered to pay my moving expenses plus some of my rent but now I’m leaving to moving back?

I started the job 5 months ago. Now my employer is threatening to sue us if we do not pay him back for the expenses he paid. Is he able to do this and should we be worried? Also, we have a reserve account for sales cancellations. We have almost $3000 in the accounts, how can we ensure we get this back? Also, since we are moving back to Illinois, if he decided to sue us, would he do that in Arizona or Illinois, the original location of business?

Asked on June 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) You can only be sued for the relocation expenses if:

a) there was an agreement that you'd pay them back if you left within a certain time, such an agreement is enforceable; or

b) you lied about wanting to relocate in the first place; that is, you were always intending to move back or thought there was only a small chance you'd stay, but did not tell your employer before he committed to pay for your relocation.

2) They have to return the money (the reserve fund) to you after all your sales have worked through the system, they know which have cancelled (if any), and there is money remaining in the account--in that case, they'd have to return the remaining money to you. That is because they are allowed to use the money for its intended purpose--as a reserve vs. cancelled sales, and therefore can wait to see what sales cancel. If they don't return the money to you in a reasonable time and don't give you a satisfactory answers about when you'll get the money back, your recourse would be to sue them to recover it.

3) They could legally sue you where you worked or in the state you move back to.


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