Jackson, MI asked in Employment Law for Michigan

Q: How long will a company usually give you to pay back a relocation allowance if you leave before a year?

My son took a job and got an 11,000.00 relocation package. He used it. He is leaving at 10 months because he was afraid his job was being eliminated and had been offered a much higher paying job. They told him at his exit interview he owes the entire amount back and they are garnishing his entire last pay check. Can they demand the full amount at once or do they have to give him a payment plan for a certain time and can they take his whole last check? Is it true you can offer a one time sum for a portion of what they gave you and they can write off the rest?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Everything you write seems plausible. I don't think there is a way it has to be done. If the employment agreement was for him to receive $11,000 on condition that he stays at least a year, then I think the company has a right to demand at least some of it back. I suppose you could argue that he stayed substantially all of a year and so maybe should owe a portion; whether it's worth it to your son to have that fight is a question only he can answer - sometimes in employment matters, when it's time to move on, it's time to move on, and let some things be.

What is more clear is that generally if you owe anything to an employer, the last paycheck is the time to settle-up. To collect anything after you hand over that last check and the employee leaves, you would generally need to initial a lawsuit; being involved in lawsuits is a very inefficient way to conduct business.

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