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My question is related to an employment offer. What options do I have if I wish to break away from the employment agreement?

Fairfax, VA |

I have signed an agreement that binds me in a buyout provision, Following is an excerpt from the agreement,

"Buy-out provision. You recognize that Company XYZ will have incurred cost and expense, both tangible and intangible, including but not limited to recruiting, training, relocation, education, visas, legal, transportation, commission and insurances. Therefore, to cover these costs, if you terminate this agreement prior to l 8 months after the commencement of employment, you shall reimburse the company XYZ, the sum of $700.00 per month for every month remaining in the 18 month term, plus any outstanding loans or advances the company XYZ might have extended to you."

They have sponsored me an H1 visa and gave me relocation assistance. Do I have to pay them back the remaining amount?

Attorney Answers 3


Have an attorney review the entire agreement to determine whether there is a possibility to walk away from the agreement without the provision's applicability. It's not possible to offer advice regarding your particular matter in this public forum which is meant to provide general information.

The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.

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What did you think when you agreed to such provision? Was it fair as presented? Did you have an attorney review before signing? Were you confused at time of signing? This is known as a "liquidated damages" provision and it may or not be enforceable.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained. Please click "helpful" or "best answer" if my answer added any value or add a "comment" if you have more info for me to help you get a better answer.

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Wow, I agree that this is a tough one. On the face of what you presented, there is no obvious way out from this provision, unless you can argue that the $700 constitutes "liquidated damages." I have found that companies are often willing to negotiate over these provisions. Remember that it would be costly for the company to enforce this - i.e., take you to court. Though, if you decide to call the company's bluff, you'll want to look to see if the contract allows the winning party to collect attorney fees. That could be an expensive game of chicken! I would think it worth your while to pay for an hour or so of attorney time to have someone review the entire agreement and discuss options with you. Good luck!

Note that this is not legal advice and this does not establish an attorney client relationship. You should review your issue with an attorney for the best possible answer to your question.

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