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  • Relocation Reimbursement Texas

    Hello,

    I recently was relocated from Chicago to San Antonio. I am working for a company that promised big monthly bonuses, which they didnt deliver on. I worked here for 5 months before giving up on their false promises and found a much better job. I have given my two weeks notice, and now they are saying that i owe them for the expenses they paid to locate me down here. They are threatening to withhold my 42 hours of vacation time until i pay them for the expenses. I really need this money as they failed to pay me the bonuses that were promised. Is it even legal for them to withhold my PTO like that?

    Thanks!
    rez

  • #2
    I'd assume that the relocation agreement was formalized in a written document which you agreed to. Is this a fair assumption? If yes, the terms of that agreement may be enforceable to the point that you would be required to reimburse for expenses. It may not be a bad idea to have a lawyer review this agreement.

    Final pay shall include vacation pay, when vacation pay is owed an employee under a company policy or employment agreement (Texas Code Ann., Labor 61.014). What's the company policy on vacation payout at termination? This will ultimately determine if you are eligible to receive or not. If policy permits vacation payout and you are eligible to receive, you may file an unpaid wage claim if vacation is not included with final pay. Here is a link: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/lablaw...age%20claim%22.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the help! I've read through the company handbook and they do indeed pay out ETO time when leaving. So even if i did sign such an agreement and owed them for re-location expenses, could they garnish my final wages to pay this re-imbursment? Or, do they have to pay out all my final wages+ETO and we settle on the relocation expenses later?

      Thanks!
      rez

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      • #4
        Did you sign anything regarding the relocation expenses? Did it make mention of how this repayment would be handled?
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          I did not sign anything explicitly, however, i think it might have been snuck in there in a clause or something. I thought it was illegal in Texas for anyone, including your employer, to garnish your wages for any reason. With the exemption of state and federal government. Is this true?

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          • #6
            They can deduct it from your wages if you signed an authorization giving them that right. You can authorize just about anything to come out of your paycheck post-tax. Which I am suspecting you did when you signed wherever you think they snuck in a clause for it (even if it wasn't explicit). It could be that by signing the check for relocation expenses in the first place that you were signing that they would be repaid if you left within a certain amount of time.

            This is a very common clause in relocation policies.

            I do agree that if they do NOT have a signed authorization to deduct it that they would owe it to you and would have to take you to court to get it repaid. You can always check with the State department of Labor here in Texas for unpaid wages if they do withhold it. That will force the employer to provide evidence that you signed an authorization for it. And if you didn't, they would be the one to enforce the payment.

            rr

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            • #7
              Thanks for the info guys! Good news!

              They needed me really bad so they moved me down in a hurry. Everyone else here had to sign such an explicit agreement, however, i never did. I only remember signing three things, a non-disclosure agreement, a background check release, and the actual offer letter. The expenses were paid outright to the movers/airlines/etc directly from the company, so i never had to deal with it.

              I asked my employer to produce the document that states that i would reimburse them if i quit within 180 days of my start date. They supplied a blank document saying "This is what it looks like". At which time i asked them to produce an actual copy of the document that i supposably signed, because i knew i never signed said document. They are unable to produce the contract. LOL! Game over, i win.

              Thanks again, your help is much appreciated.
              rez

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              • #8
                FYI, that would not be a garnishment. A garnishment is an order, issued by a court upon a debtor receiving a judgment against you, directing your employer to withhold from wages and forward the proceeds to (generally) the court for disbursement to the creditor to satisfy your debt. Literally speaking, an employer cannot "garnish" its own employees' wages.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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