Work-funded scholarship – employer refuses to provide check

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Work-funded scholarship – employer refuses to provide check

I work at a nursing home. The nursing home offers a scholarship to be used for educational purposes. I applied. I was offered a scholarship worth $1,500. I signed a letter acknowledging my acceptance of this scholarship. I put my 2 weeks in after signing said document because I am moving to pursue education in a different city. Despite receiving verbal confirmation after acceptance that my departure will not affect the scholarship, my employer has since decided not to award me these funds. They do not cite any violation of the application or signed documentation, only that they

Asked on August 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything: they do not have to give you the scholarship. They may have promised to give it to you, but that promise was not a binding contract, because they are receiving nothing (no "consideration") in exchange for it--not even your continued employment (which, by the way, could have been sufficient consideration) since you resigned. When the other side receives nothing in exchange for its promise, it is a "gratuitious promise," not a contract, and the other side can renege on it as well--the same as you could offer to  house sit for a friend when she travels, then change your mind and refuse to do so and she could not sue you. There is no action you can take to compel them to give you this scholarship.
In addition to the "legal" issue--no consideration from you to bind the agreement--there is an "equitable" or fairness issues that would cause a court to also find against you, were you to try to sue over this. That issue is, it would be considered unfair or inequitiable for you to apply for a scholarship as an employee, then resign essentially the moment you get it. You essentially applied under false pretenses--as an employee, when you were not intending to remain one--and tried to take money which was obviously to be used to reward or incentivize employees when you were no longer going to work there. A court will not support or reward such inequitable behavior.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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