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employment contracts.......
Old 11-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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employment contracts.......

Anyone here not comfortable signing them if:

1) they invest a lot of money in you & don't want you to move on before they get their ROI
2) or will hold/manage some valuable assets to the firm & they don't want you to leave with tem?

Suppose you can leave & break the contract but must pay some of the money back? Has anyone done this only to have your next employer take care of the bill?

Just curious...
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-04-2006, 07:39 PM   #2
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Re: employment contracts.......

If they really needed me, I would push back. If I really needed them, I would sign.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: employment contracts.......

So the contract says you have to pay a certain amount of money back if you leave and that is the issue? What about a non-compete? From an employee's standpoint, I would worry most about a non-compete provision.

Do you remain an "at will" employee or can they only fire you for cause? If they terminate you, do you have to pay the money back?
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 09:58 AM   #4
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Re: employment contracts.......

Martha -

I should have all the details in a couple of weeks. Don't worry, I didn't officially sign anything yet .

Quote:
So the contract says you have to pay a certain amount of money back if you leave and that is the issue? What about a non-compete? From an employee's standpoint, I would worry most about a non-compete provision.
First part, yes payback is part of it. Second part, yes non-compete (I believe) is part of it as well. I don't believe I can go to a competitor and take clients with me if I were to be in that position.

I should know the rest later but the real push was about the first part above.

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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: employment contracts.......

I have seen payback requirements if someone leaves the job, usually within a year. I have also seen new employers pick up that cost.

Watch that non-compete though. It is one thing to say you can't solicit their clients, but another to say you can't work for a competitor or even in the same field.

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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: employment contracts.......

Martha -

How specific can they get on the issue of who is competition? Is it any company in the same field or same field + similar geographic regions, etc.? Thanks.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: employment contracts.......

I have had non compete clauses that specified I couldn't work for a company in the same field within 50 miles for one year.

I've also had them specify only the same field and the time frame. They are company/industry specific.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: employment contracts.......

State law effects what an employer can and cannot do in noncompete agreements. Very generally, in most states the scope in both time and geographical area have to be reasonable. There are also issues as to whether it is legal to require a person in a specific position to sign a noncompete.

Non-competes can be broader than simply barring someone from working for a competitor, they often bar people from working in the same field.

Lots of issues with non-competes. We are only touching on them here.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: employment contracts.......

There is no harm lining up a plaintif employment attorney to review the document. Watch the clause that states what law will apply because state standards for non-competes vary widely. For example, if the corporate headquarters are in PA then they may claim PA jurisdiction. Some states may take juristiction if you signed it in their state or if their state is your place of employment.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 09:30 PM   #10
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Re: employment contracts.......

I recently took a job which required relocation and they paid about $5k in moving costs. I have no employment contract, but I did sign a document that said if I voluntarily terminate employment within 12 months, I have to repay the moving costs. So now I'm 3 months into the job and it's not what I expected. I asked if I could be considered for a transfer to another department sometime in early 07 but that idea was rejected by my boss's boss.

So if things continue to deteriorate and I have to leave, does anyone know how aggresively large companies pursue the repayment of this money? I'm a pretty low level employee (only 25 years old), not a manager or anyone with real responsibility. Do I just have to suck it up for another 9 months?
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 10:27 PM   #11
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Re: employment contracts.......

Oh, they will expect repayment. There is nothing preventing you from looking for another position in your current locality. You could then push the $ on whether it would pay to tough it out or beat feet.

Start networking in your local market. If you have a hard to find skill set the new employer may be willing to make up your loss.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-05-2006, 10:49 PM   #12
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Re: employment contracts.......

Hi wildcat,

Most of the jobs I took when I was working full-time included one or more of the following: moving expenses, signing bonus, and several one-time benefits related to moving and settling into a new town and home. The contracts indicated that these benefits would be prorated over a period of time and that if I left prior to that time, I would have to pay a portion back. Typically, the time period on these contracts to avoid an obligation to pay anything back, was one year. In the last job I took before retiring the hiring benefits were significant (equivalent to about 2 years salary) and the contract term was 2 years.

I've never seen a contract that indicated that keeping salary you earned on the job was dependent on some specific tenure with the company. In fact, I know people who accepted sign on benefits with a 1 year proration clause, left prior to one year, but were never asked to pay those benefits back. I don't know if that's the norm, but I do know it has happened to at least two people I know.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-06-2006, 07:10 AM   #13
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Re: employment contracts.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee


I've never seen a contract that indicated that keeping salary you earned on the job was dependent on some specific tenure with the company.
I've singed a bunch of contracts and never seen this either. OTOH, if the
company felt the sign-on $ actually incuded some portion of salary
in advance, I could see the logic.

JG
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-06-2006, 07:26 AM   #14
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Re: employment contracts.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
I've singed a bunch of contracts and never seen this either. OTOH, if the
company felt the sign-on $ actually incuded some portion of salary
in advance, I could see the logic.

JG
Actually I didn't "sing" the contract, although I did feel like bursting into song with a couple of the really good ones.

JG
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-06-2006, 07:31 AM   #15
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Re: employment contracts.......

And another thing...............

I once got an employer to reimburse my entire loss on the sale of a
briefly lived in new house (based on my estimates), on top of a relocation
package, and then negotiated a "buyout" arrangement on the debt
(contract held by the builder) and pocketed a "chunk" in the process.
There was a time I was in high demand. Now no one cares if I even get
out of bed, except for you folks of course.

JG
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-06-2006, 08:22 AM   #16
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Re: employment contracts.......

My last job in law enforcement it was typical to have a two year contract. The contract stipulated that if you voluntarily left the agency could demand prorated repayment for the cost of the background investigation. One agency in the area even went so far as to make ongoing advanced training subject to a contract. there were rumors of people with a 10 contract to buy out if they wanted to leave the agency. Most agencies would waive the repayment if you were within six months of completing the contract. The last thing they wanted was someone who was unmotivated messing up and costing the city a large lawsuit.

The job I'm waiting for currently, requires the repayment of the costs of the security clearance if I leave within a year. The cost is prorated.
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Re: employment contracts.......
Old 11-06-2006, 08:42 AM   #17
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Re: employment contracts.......

All -

Thanks for the feedback. I will carefully go over the document and do some research on the non-compete issue. I am afraid the length of the contract is quite a bit longer (like 2 years would be a piece of cake) than the others that have been mentioned which is why I have to consider this carefully.
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