What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California
Currently pro per, involved in lawsuit for breach of contract regarding tuition reimbursement. Employer seeks repayment of entire amount per contract due to unjust enrichment, I contend that I owe nothing despite breach of contract and any repayment to employer would be unjust enrichment to the company. Approaching mediation where things should heat up a bit.
"I understand and acknowledge that (a) if I receive tuition assistance through XXXX's Educational Assistance Program for courses related to a Masters of Business Administration degree, (b) if I complete the degree requirements, and (c) if I should voluntarily terminate employment with XXXX within 12 months of completing degree requirements, I will be responsible for paying back to XXXX 50% of total amount that was previously paid to me under the Educational Assistance Program."
I remained employed with the company for six months following my degree completion. Company completed is obligation to pay for training; however I did complete partial employment service and am encouraging company to pro-rate the balance as such. Originally, I thought that the contract could be interpreted more as a penalty arrangement, which would be more difficult to enfore in court (so I thought). I felt that my former employer would have to demonstrate the damages that they incurred and how they were worse off due to my premature departure. The twist is that the company actually received reimbursement for my FULL salary and FULL educational benefit resulting from some grey area in a management agreement with one of our clients (extremely unethically IMO). The company actually received reimbursement from multiple clients for which I provided services while employeed with the company (not speculation, I actually made copies of the documents before I left the organization). My whole contention has been that my former employer is seeking repayment for damages that they simply have not incurred (or a benefit that, at the end of the day, they did not provide, but merely facilitated).
Do I have a legitimate case to argue repayment? Or, am I setting myself up for a bad time in court?