Another contract question

EatSleepFly

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Sorry to bring this up again, but my search didn't find anything specific to what I'm looking for.

I am leaving my current company. When I started, I had a choice. Get paid during training, and sign a 1-yr. training contract for $5k, or don't get paid during training and no contract.

I stupidly signed the contract because I needed the money. The contract stated that I am a part-time employee (despite flying 80-110 hours a month), so I get no guarantee or benefits.

Now that I am leaving because (amongst other reasons) I need a real, full-time job, they want to come after me for "training costs." Thing is, there were no real training costs. All of my training was basically done on empty legs. Most of my groundschool was self-study. I was paid like $12.50/hr. or something for all of this.

I said that since I had flown significantly more in 6 months than the rest of the part-timers fly in a year, I believe they are being unfair. I asked to get a copy of what I signed, so I could have it looked at. I was told that if they give me a copy of what I signed, they will come after me for the full $5k. The other option, is to just pay back what they paid me during my training, no questions asked. Can they really do this?

I want to go to an attorney because I really feel that I'm getting the raw end of this deal. Not only did it not cost them anything to train me, but they never paid me benefits, or a monthly guarantee like they do for the full-timers during slow months, despite the fact that I fly at least as much as they do. The problem now is, if I show this contract to an attorney, the company is going for the full $5k if it is indeed enforcable. If I don't, I might still have to pay a couple of grand, so it's a gamble.

Any advice? :eek:

(Oh, and save me the "don't break a contract" speech without knowing the circumstances. Thanks! :0 )
 

avbug

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You signed a contract and didn't get a copy???

This isn't by chance the Florida bent wing navajo again, is it?

Either the contract is enforceable or it's not. If it's not, then you're paying two thousand dollars extortion money based soley on the word of this employer. I find the fact that they told you they'd settle for two thousand if you keep quiet and pay, but will go after you for the full five thousand if you demand the copy of the contract, enlightening.

Why do they feel it's worth three thousand less if you just pay,and why wouldn't they ask for that up front? You don't believe it's because the copy is worth three thousand dollars. Are they so generous that they are letting you get away with two thousand dollars cash on the barrelhead? Or are they merely trying to squeeze you for whatever they think they can con you into paying?

If indeed there is a contract and it is indeed binding, then you need to consult an attorney. This has become a legal issue, and an attorney needs to be consulted anyway. Clearly your relationship with the employe is adversarial, especially in light of their refusal to provide you a copy of the contract.

Think very hard. Why do you suppose they're afraid to let you have a copy of the contract. Getting the picture?
 

EatSleepFly

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Thanks for the reply, avbug.

avbug said:
You signed a contract and didn't get a copy???

This isn't by chance the Florida bent wing navajo again, is it?
Yean, nice huh? This isn't in FL though.

The only thing that I have in front of me is an employment agreement, and I do not have a problem with anything in it, nor am I breaching anything in it by leaving. He says I also signed a promissory note, which is what I do not have a copy of. Supposedly the promissory note is for $5k in training costs. What he's offering to have me pay back is just the pay that I received from the time I started, until passing my 135 PIC checkride, NOT the "training costs."

I don't feel that I am obligated to pay back either one, especially given the fact that I am only a part-time employee. Part of my argument is, being part-time, I could have scheduled myself for only day flights, 3 days a week, and only flown 200 hours over the course of the entire 12 months and that would have been fine. Instead, wanting to fly and make more money, I made myself available more. I flew 520 or so hours in about six months. In other words, they got their money's worth out of me, and then some, IMO.

I'm trying to figure out my options here. I can:

a.) Pay up what he offers and be done with it (not an option at this point, I will not be bullied).

b.) Demand to see the supposed Promissory Note, and risk losing $5k if it is really enforcable, or

c.) Tell him I'm leaving and not paying one red cent.

If I simply take no action and leave, it is my understanding that he can sell the case to a collection agency. How does that work? Surely he can't just call one up and say, "he owes me money, make him pay or ruin his credit," right? So what requirements must be met in order for a collection agency to get involved?

Isn't this almost a form of extortion?

Guess I will be talking to a lawyer tomorrow. :confused:
 

TwinTails

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Wow. This guy is way out of line. Unfortunately there are plenty more 135 operators out there just like this a-hole. They must be insecure about something. They must have been picked on by a pilot when they were kids.

Anyway, of course you can see the promissory note. It's yours as much as it is his. Did he put all these things he's telling you in writing? If he didn't, tell him you want it in writing. Unless it says in the contract that you can settle for less if you don't see the contract, thats not part of the deal. Write down everything he is telling you and write down in a letter everything that they did to you that you think was wrong or unfair. Even the little things like asking you to work on your day off. Everything. Send a copy to him and send a copy to an employment / contract law attorney. Does he have a reputation for pursuing these contracts? You weren't the first one to sign or try to get out of one were you? I am dealing with a contract dispute right now also. Yes, demand to see the note. I think he may have lost it. If he can't produce the contract tell him to stick it and don't look back.
 

RJones

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Sue them for fraudulent inducement. They fraudulently got you to sign a contract and then didn’t perform their end of the contract. Of course, when it’s all said and done you’ve spent the amount of the contract, flip side, they have to spend money to defend. Your best action is to leave, then sue right away so as to be on the offensive end of litigation.

I’m sure one of your buddies has a copy of that contract, ask to see it and copy it. You’ll then know what kind of mess your in. If the contract has no stipulation in it about being fired... get fired, you're out and good bye.

You have to get a copy of that contract, some way shape or form must have a look see at that contract.

RJ
 

midlifeflyer

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EatSleepFly said:
Any advice?
Yup. The one you gave yourself:
I want to go to an attorney
Excellent advice. Contract law and employment law is =extremely= state-specific. Even a single meeting with a knowledgeable attorney will give you a better idea of your real rights and defenses than 4 days of postings here.
 

nosehair

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midlifeflyer said:
Even a single meeting with a knowledgeable attorney will give you a better idea of your real rights and defenses than 4 days of postings here.
...get the picture?...
 

EatSleepFly

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Sorry to dredge this back up, just wanted to say thanks to those who replied and give an update.

We worked out a deal where I'll just pay back the pay that I received during my training (i.e. retroactively "unsigning" the contract), and get out with no strings attached.

I'm still not thrilled about it, but I really don't want the hassle of getting lawyers involved, and I don't want to burn a bridge by doing so. Lesson learned- my autograph is never going on a training contract again unless it's my dream job!

Anyways, thanks again for the advice!
 

FN FAL

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EatSleepFly said:
Any advice? :eek:

(Oh, and save me the "don't break a contract" speech without knowing the circumstances. Thanks! :0 )
There was this guy in Green Bay that thought the cable company was spying on him through his cable television, so he went down there by Mason St. and whacked a few of the cable employees in their office on the west side. The Green Bay SWAT team then caught up with him and made him into a No. 2 pencil.

Correlation? He signed a contract for cable television...don't be that guy.

I don't know your circumcision and I got a lot of money into college and resent your attitude about legal advice. I wouldn't freaking ask you to teach me how to fly for free, so get your snotty attitude on down to the lawyers office and show him your stuff and shut up.

If you don't like it, I need to get an ATP...start teaching for free mo fo.
 

FN FAL

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FN FAL said:
There was this guy in Green Bay that thought the cable company was spying on him through his cable television, so he went down there by Mason St. and whacked a few of the cable employees in their office on the west side. The Green Bay SWAT team then caught up with him and made him into a No. 2 pencil.

Correlation? He signed a contract for cable television...don't be that guy.

I don't know your circumcision and I got a lot of money into college and resent your attitude about legal advice. I wouldn't freaking ask you to teach me how to fly for free, so get your snotty attitude on down to the lawyers office and show him your stuff and shut up.

If you don't like it, I need to get an ATP...start teaching for free mo fo.
and if you thought I was being angry while posting, I wasn't. I was just testing out my new joystick from DeVry Law school dot com.

There's been numerous posts about this subject and I'd be glad to look up that case case again and post it. However, if you want legal advice and your ass is in a bind, I'd go see the attorney of your choice. Don't waste time on an open forum with this.

I can tell you this much, If I needed a Jewish Ninja with a pony tail, I sure as hell wouldn't waste my time gabbing about the problem here.
 

EatSleepFly

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FreightNazi said:
Yeah, you should have made it to your Eagle checkride in time!
Yeah, no kidding! Now I am going to miss out on the 10 year upgrade, the neat little monkey suit, the shiny jet, and the joke of a paycheck! Whatever will I do????

And FN FAL- thanks man! But uh, look at my last post in the thread before this one. It's all worked out... :cool:
 

yzf6

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FN FAL said:
I don't know your circumcision
i havent signed many contracts, but i'm pretty sure that was never mentioned in any of them. sounds more painful than just paying the money!
 

Resume Writer

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One of the posters mentioned "going on the offensive and filing a lawsuit against the company." I would not recommend this. The reasoning behind this is that when a potential employer calls the former employer, they will get this:

"We cannot speak about (insert name here) as we are currently in litigation with this individual."

Always get a copy of what you are signing. I hope that EatSleepFly got a signed statement from this jerk that by paying back the contract there will be no negative statements provided to future employers about his performance and integrity. Not that you can control that, but if in fact he does make false statements, you can then sue him for defamation.

Do you have the new job yet, Eat? If not, I would certainly pay the money to have a background check done. Make sure they record what he says. (in some states it is illegal; in other states only one person needs to know the recording is happening, i.e., the person making the call)

Let me know if you need a good company to perform the background checks. I have one that has worked with several of my pilot clients.

Good luck to you!
Kathy
 
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