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Training Contract Woes

wiggsfly

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Well, for some reason I signed at my old company. They changed their mind with me and decided to make it 3 years at 6000 dollars and right after I signed I was told new FOs are too dumb for any real training and the training contract was just because he was sick of new FOs quitting for the airlines. The agreement I signed said they were giving me a $6000 grant on July 1. After July 1 I flew along on 1 pt91 trip which was billed to the customer and I took my checkride (which I was specifically told did not count to the agreement). To show how much training I had on the checkride I had no idea of stall procedures and as it was only my first time flying an actual pattern it was less than pretty to say the least.

Well, now it is Nov and I've found my dream job. I talked to them about it before I resigned and they terminated me on the spot which made the decision easy. Now they are demanding repayment of the grant which they never gave me and they are demanding it in full which wasn't even part of the original agreement they bullied me into signing (it was originally supposed to be pro-rated payments).

My stance till now has been to just ignore it. I figure they fired me so i've turned down their registered letter today, etc. Any suggestions (this is in Illinois). I can't afford a lawyer. I'm not even sre they have a copy of the agreement as they lost my file over a month ago and so far it would appear that they aren't reading it in demanding payment from me....
 

FN FAL

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What's your baggage?
 

hoop

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I have no idea how the aviation industry works in a manner such as this, but it sounds like it was a bully tactic in the first place. I would think for them to take legal action, they would have to have a very convincing paper trail, as to what you signed, what was expected of you, duration of said contract, and the specific terms of that agreement. I wouldn't get too nervous, until you hear from an attorney on the matter. Even if they do have an attorney contact you, I suspect that would be another pressure tactic for you to pay up. Sounds like they aren't much for record keeping to being with.

Just my .02
 

FN FAL

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hoop said:
I have no idea how the aviation industry works in a manner such as this, but it sounds like it was a bully tactic in the first place. I would think for them to take legal action, they would have to have a very convincing paper trail, as to what you signed, what was expected of you, duration of said contract, and the specific terms of that agreement. I wouldn't get too nervous, until you hear from an attorney on the matter. Even if they do have an attorney contact you, I suspect that would be another pressure tactic for you to pay up. Sounds like they aren't much for record keeping to being with.

Just my .02
Why would you need a paper trail? He signed a contract.
 

pilotmiketx

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Tell their POI at the FSDO where the bodies are buried.

You don't have to pay back grants.

It seems if they terminated you, they dug their own hole.
Whatever you do, don't make ANY payments. Not even a penny. Once you do, it's all over from a legal standpoint. I haven't heard of any training contract being legally enforceable let alone one that you have to repay if you're terminated. What if you busted the checkride, or they went out of business?
 
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hoop

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FN FAL said:
Why would you need a paper trail? He signed a contract.
True FN, but my viewpoint was that they didn't hold up their end of the deal, (as far as I can tell), and he was terminated. Resignation under contract is one thing, but termination means all bets are off.

Again, just my .02 as a practicing jailhouse lawyer!:D
 

A Squared

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pilotmiketx said:
I haven't heard of any training contract being legally enforceable
So what you're saying here is you really don't know anything, but despite not knowing anything, you're going to run your mouth anyway. Right?

Not long ago somone (FN-FAL I think) posted a link to a court decision in which a pilot had a judgement against him for breaking a training contract ... seems the judge didn't get your memo about training contracts not being enforcable. Depending on how the contract is worded and in what state the contract is signed. a traing contract may very well be legal and enfocable .. or it may not. To make a blanket statement that training contracts are not enforcable is as ignorant as it is incorrect.
 

pilotmiketx

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I thought it felt dumber in here...

A Squared said:
So what you're saying here is you really don't know anything, but despite not knowing anything, you're going to run your mouth anyway. Right?
No, if you put on your Wal-Mart reading glasses, and read carefully, what I said was "I haven't heard of any training contracts being enforceable."

A Squared said:
Not long ago somone (FN-FAL I think) posted a link to a court decision in which a pilot had a judgement against him for breaking a training contract ... seems the judge didn't get your memo about training contracts not being enforcable. Depending on how the contract is worded and in what state the contract is signed. a traing contract may very well be legal and enfocable .. or it may not.
Still haven't heard of any. At this point, I've only heard of one constipated old man telling me about another person posting a link to a supposed decision regarding one.

A Squared said:
To make a blanket statement that training contracts are not enforcable is as ignorant as it is incorrect
Again, see above. No blanket statement. Only my observation. I have known several people personally who have violated "training contracts" and most employers never did anything other than send a few threatening letters. In the most extreme case, the pilot had to have his attorney send a threatening letter back. In most states, $6K will take you out of small claims and into the big leagues where it could take years to have your case heard, but I'm sure you already knew that.
 

A Squared

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pilotmiketx said:
what I said was "I haven't heard of any training contracts being enforceable."
I know exatly what you said. Like I said, it's a statement which comments only only on your ignorance of the issue......"I haven't heard......". The fact that you haven't heard of a contract being enforcable is completly irrelevant and adds nothing intelligent to the discussion. It really doen't matter what you think you've heard from your buddies who have skated on thier contracts. You apparently don't even grasp that even if they did skate on a contract and *didn't* get pursued in court, that doens't shed any light on whether such a contract is legally enfocable. That's why your "I've haven't heard" comment is pointless and inane. Now if you had *heard* of a case in which a training contract was thrown out in court, now *that* would be relevant. It would be even more relevant if you could provide a link to the transcript.

pilotmiketx said:
Still haven't heard of any.
You apparently mistake burying your head in the sand for relevant knowledge.

Read this:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/nebraskastatecases/sc/dec14/s00-221.pdf

Now you've heard of a training contract being enforcable.
 
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Birdstrike

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wiggsfly said:
...My stance till now has been to just ignore it...
Remember the old saying; "Bad news doesn't get better with age." And it doesn't just go away either. You need a lawyer to answer their claims on you, rightly or wrongly. If you can't afford one, contact your local Legal Aid Society. They'll screw your good name, your credit, and your future employability. Meet it head on and deal with it until it's resolved one way or another. Legally, you either owe them the money or you don't. But if you don't show up to the fight, they'll win in default. Good luck!
 

Icelandair

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Depends on the wording in the contract, but if they terminate you than you aren't liable for the training contract. But I would talk to an attorney and not on some aviation message board.
 

pilotmiketx

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A Squared said:
I know exatly what you said. Like I said, it's a statement which comments only only on your ignorance of the issue......"I haven't heard......". The fact that you haven't heard of a contract being enforcable is completly irrelevant and adds nothing intelligent to the discussion. It really doen't matter what you think you've heard from your buddies who have skated on thier contracts. You apparently don't even grasp that even if they did skate on a contract and *didn't* get pursued in court, that doens't shed any light on whether such a contract is legally enfocable. That's why your "I've haven't heard" comment is pointless and inane. Now if you had *heard* of a case in which a training contract was thrown out in court, now *that* would be relevant. It would be even more relevant if you could provide a link to the transcript.


You apparently mistake burying your head in the sand for relevant knowledge.

Read this:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/nebraskastatecases/sc/dec14/s00-221.pdf

Now you've heard of a training contract being enforcable.

A bitter, angry, old man. Sorry life hasn't treated you any better. Have a blessed day.
 

A Squared

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pilotmiketx said:
A bitter, angry, old man. Sorry life hasn't treated you any better. Have a blessed day.
Ahhh, yes, when you don't have anything relevant to say, respond with personal insults which have nothing to do with the subject. (and apparently need to be edited by a moderator)
 

i'mbatman

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I would demand a copy of the training agreement. If they lost it, than you are in luck. If they DO have it, read it thoroughly and carefully. Don't pay a dime until you absolutely have to.IB
 

pilotmiketx

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i'mbatman said:
I would demand a copy of the training agreement. If they lost it, than you are in luck. If they DO have it, read it thoroughly and carefully. Don't pay a dime until you absolutely have to.IB
Careful, man, A Squared is off the Lithium and has been watching Judge Judy...
 

KeroseneSnorter

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Spend a few bucks to consult with an attorny, but gut feeling is they terminated you so you are off the hook.
 

FN FAL

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What I don't know is why you guys sign these things. I have signed three and when I took those jobs, it was a no brainer that I was going to stay for at least a year without the contract anyway.

Next time you're at a job interview and they say, "you're hired!" When they slide that puppy across the table and ask you to sign the form, put it in your attache case and tell them you don't sign contracts untill someone who knows what the hell the legalities are splains something to you.

If they don't like it, walk.
 

A Squared

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KeroseneSnorter said:
Spend a few bucks to consult with an attorny, but gut feeling is they terminated you so you are off the hook.

Depends. I think many training contracts require you to pay if you were terminated "for cause". Otherwise training contracts would be ridiculously easy to get out of. Just don't show up for work. they fire you. you're out of the contract. So now it becomes a question of whether he was terminated for cause which opens the door for a lot of mud slinging. Unless he has a termination notice in his hand which says "Dear Wiggsfly, we are terminating you due to a reduction in workforce due to no fault of your own" it may be a pretty rocky road.

pilotmiketx, still nothing intelligent to say on the issue, I see
 

AirBP

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wiggsfly said:
Well, for some reason I signed at my old company. They changed their mind with me and decided to make it 3 years at 6000 dollars and right after I signed I was told new FOs are too dumb for any real training and the training contract was just because he was sick of new FOs quitting for the airlines. The agreement I signed said they were giving me a $6000 grant on July 1. After July 1 I flew along on 1 pt91 trip which was billed to the customer and I took my checkride (which I was specifically told did not count to the agreement). To show how much training I had on the checkride I had no idea of stall procedures and as it was only my first time flying an actual pattern it was less than pretty to say the least.
Exactly what kind of training in what kind of a/c did you receive? Was it the equivilant of what you would expect to pay if you got the training from a flight training facility? Reading between the lines, it almost sounds like this company just wanted to scare you into not leaving, but really didn't provide any training. What kind of checkride did you take? Was there a sign-off in your logbook, or on some company training file? Were you paid a salary, or was this a 'warm body in the seat getting experience, and maybe some money too' deal? Is this a 135 operation, or strictly 91. 135, and 121, etc, have strict standards regarding what kind of training, and when it is performed. Initial training on a 'live' flight is prohibited. Were you qualified to be PIC, and did you act as one after training? Were you a required SIC, or a walking talking gear and flap actuator? My point is if you didn't GET trained then you don't really OWE them a training contract 'grant'. Frankly, they sound like a crap outfit, but you should keep an eye on your credit rating at the very least in case they but something in there. Good luck!
Brian
 

wiggsfly

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Thats exactly what they told me. They have people sign them so they won't quit. It was for Citation ISP and IISPs (although they have since added a five). Training consisted of a company training record and a "checkride" with the owner of the company. For my "time" I was paid a daily rate. Training was "just ride along and watch" on part 91 flights with passengers (most were owner trips at least one was an illegal charter I later learned) and they billed the passengers for both the pilot and aircraft so there was NO money spent to train me.

AirBP said:
Exactly what kind of training in what kind of a/c did you receive? Was it the equivilant of what you would expect to pay if you got the training from a flight training facility? Reading between the lines, it almost sounds like this company just wanted to scare you into not leaving, but really didn't provide any training. What kind of checkride did you take? Was there a sign-off in your logbook, or on some company training file? Were you paid a salary, or was this a 'warm body in the seat getting experience, and maybe some money too' deal? Is this a 135 operation, or strictly 91. 135, and 121, etc, have strict standards regarding what kind of training, and when it is performed. Initial training on a 'live' flight is prohibited. Were you qualified to be PIC, and did you act as one after training? Were you a required SIC, or a walking talking gear and flap actuator? My point is if you didn't GET trained then you don't really OWE them a training contract 'grant'. Frankly, they sound like a crap outfit, but you should keep an eye on your credit rating at the very least in case they but something in there. Good luck!
Brian
 
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