• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Anyone here an expert on California employment law?

beer

Lifer
Jun 27, 2000
11,169
1
0
So,
Assume someone takes a job with a California-based company in California and is given a signing bonus with the clause that there is a minimum of one year of service required, and any voluntary departure means you must pay back that bonus. This is an at-will employment situation, and this was not a contract.

Is this enforcible under California law? Ignoring the ethical considerations - both parties are to blame to an extent - is this legally allowed? I only ask because I have been reading that such a signing bonus, when tied to a time commitment, is actually a kickback when in an at-will employment situation.

I am fully anticipating that the first five responses will be "talk to a lawyer" but I am interested if anyone has been in this type of situation. Obviously I will escalate the question to someone with more expertise but I would be interested if anyone had any input.

Thanks.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
0
If there is something in writing, then the company can withhold salary/back pay and legally request that you pay back the amount owed.

They have the legal right to go after you in court to enforce such an agreement.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,034
5,120
126
Companies aren't stupid. If they couldn't enforce the 1 year rule on signing bonus, they'd stop giving it out, because people would just switch jobs every 3 months.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY