Agreement to Repay Bonus Advance in CA state, I've been employed for the past 6 months, can I leave now?

Asked over 1 year ago - San Jose, CA

Before joining, I signed an agreement with my present employer to repay sign-on bonus should I decide to leave. The agreement stated that I should pay back 100% of sign-on bonus if I leave within 9 months of employment, less than 14 months 67% and 14 months to less than 18 months 33%. It also stated that this Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New York, regardless of my location. If I fail to repay any amount due from me under this Agreement, the Firm may bring an action in court to recover the amount due. The acceptance by the Firm of partial or delinquent payments, or failure of the Firm to exercise any rights under this Agreement, shall not waive any of my obligations or the rights of the Firm, modify this Agreement or waive any other breach of this Agreement by me.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . A New York attorney will have to address this issue because New York law will apply. However, were this a California issue, there is nothing preventing the employer from enforcing this contract unless other facts exist that you have not disclosed.

    You can leave any time you want, but you will face the consequences of that decision. You might be able to negotiate some buyout less than the contract amount.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  2. David Andrew Mallen

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . You signed a contract.

    You can leave.

    The employer can sue for breach of contract to recover the bonus.

    David Mallen

    David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not... more
  3. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I suggest you take the contract to a California employment attorney for analysis. First, California aggressively enforces its labor and employment laws, and it is likely that California law would apply if you working within the state, regardless of the provision claiming NY law applies. Second, depending on the details of the "bonus," California law may deem it an earned commission, which would mean it is earned wages and the employer may not require you to repay it.

    But no one can tell you if any of the above applies to your situation without reading the exact language of the contract and also learning the nature of the bonus.

    twitter.com/MikaSpencer *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more

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