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We have provided Australia assignment help to various students. Wondering if I should review my exam. Thanks in advance for your help. I took my first pbar in Jan and scored 68 with PRG materials only. Then, I found this site and also bought bulleye. Their questions were very helpful a good start and was a quick review, also read their mini MPEP. I looked up MPEP for every answer choices during my study, so I understand the concept and not just memorizing them. Some of those were variation of the old test so make sure you know the materials.
I had the following repeats: How much study time did you put in? What type of review did you do days before the exam? Hi Sami, For my first test, I put in a lot of time going through PRG dvd lecture and did about questions from their examware.
Just passed the exam today a few hours ago. I can not thank the owner of this website enough for getting me prepared. I also made a chart for all the questions during the first 15 minutes when the tutorial is given , and marked the questions that needed look up later.
I had about 10 questions marked in the morning, and about 12 in the afternoon. Some questions that I encountered: Visting attorney in Germany file by fax 6.
Australian PCT national stage entered without specifically saying that it is national stage, but the oath indicated priority to only a PCT 8. By when you can get refund for mistakenly paid large entity fee petition within 3 months, non-extendable I passed the exam yesterday. Thanks to this site I knew what to expect.
A mixture of old questions, questions from this site and betas. I studied using Longacre every day for 3 months to get this stuff under my skin. I suggest using the MPEP as much as possible so that you can find your way around it. This was invaluable during the exam when I had to answer tricky questions. I eventually just made my own outline based off material on mypatentbar, and sat there and read the MPEP chapters that are now heavily tested , , , Had a total of roughly 40 repeats, with 20 coming the first half and 20 coming the 2nd half.
About half of those repeats were from the April, October tests, the rest were split between the newer post questions as well as some from the older ones from I honestly think I just got lucky with the number of repeats.
On the other hand, it does show how important it is to know the old exams as well as the questions people have posted like the back of your hand. I used to not understand how people who have taken the test can remember so many questions from it to pass onto future test takers. Having finally done it myself, all I can say is that it will stick to you. Evil e A practitioner files a US provisional on Oct 1, He then files an IA claiming benefit to the provisional on Oct.
On March 23, a practitioner files a national app under a claiming the benefit to the international app. What is the earliest e date of the national app filed under a? The question does NOT mention anything about satisfying fee oath translation requirements of c. For IA filed before Nov. Yes, e 1 date: If a later-filed U. The other answer choices were the provisional date, the IA filing date, the IA publication date. I actually had this in my outline, but just freaked when I saw this on the test.
A facsimile using the certificate of transmission is sent out today, sometime in , and is received today. Which one of these would receive the benefit of the certificate of transmission.
Be careful of the wording of the question. The question says that the fax is sent and received on the same day to mess you up. Making new arguments after oral hearings for the first time, and nothing is written about it in the appeal brief. Submitting arguments after oral hearings that the practitioner had previously made during prosecution.
I went with IV only. The IA is filed in Japanese. Everything else about the IA is ok it has a request, designation, spec, claim, drawing. What will happen now? The USRO will invite him to send in an English translation of the app within a certain amount of time, and if the applicant does so, afford him a filing date as of the date the translation is received. The app has the proper request, designation, spec, claim, drawing, and is in English.
Later they find out that a third inventor, Figg, should be added to the IA. They fail to do so before 20 months. What is in accordance with PTO rules. I think the whole bit about Figg is just a red herring, along with the 20 month deal since that was under the old PCT rules. Under Filing Date.
An international filing date is accorded to the earliest date on which the requirements under PCT Article 11 1 were satisfied. If the requirements under PCT Article 11 1 are not satisfied as of the date of initial receipt of the international application papers, the receiving Office will invite applicant to correct the deficiency within a set time limit.
If the application becomes allowed, the application should not be returned to the Board. Answer is A, they will still get a filing date despite the seemingly negative connotation the answer has. The answer is D! A reissue with an assignee of the full interest which seeks to delete one hostile inventor as well as broaden does not require the signature of the inventor being deleted.
Applicant provided specific measurements but the prior art does not. Which date to use for calculation of fee extension? From the end of the SSP of 3 months. This just goes to show you how old some of the questions in the PTO database are, and how they refuse to discard some of them.
Does any body has any thoughts on question 2 on the post 6? What are the three things can use one signature? Took the exam yesterday and passed. Had only a handful of repeats moondust, tribell, bloc, Japan 45 days in each session. Lots of obscure questions that I had to look up even had a couple from chapters , and , which are supposedly never tested.
PCT and appeals were heavily tested — I would recommend reading through those chapters to really get familiar with them. You really have to know your way around the MPEP in order to pass.
Sorry to hear that. I think sometimes it depends on how lucky you are how many repeats you get. Tridell, Moondust, Japan 45 days answer , Bloc, few others.
DP, sorry you got screwed by getting only a few repeats. My suggestion is to focus on getting as high a score as possible on the multistate exam. I have to ask this: What is the fundamental difference between ex parte reexamination and inter partes reexamination?
Inter partes reexam allows the 3rd party to participate in the reexam proceedings to a greater extent as compared to ex parte reexam. For ex parte reexam proceedings, the 3rd party is pretty much on the outside looking in, whereas for inter partes, the 3rd party can be more active in the proceedings.
But the Inter partes procedure was created several years after the ex parte procedure. Thus, inter partes is only available for applications filed on or after Nov. First check the filing date of the application. The next hook is how much the 3rd party wants to participate.
A noncompliant incorporation by reference statement may be corrected by an amendment. However, the amendment must not include new matter. Court decision-claim is valid, binding or not, very tricky one? Restriction requirement Toothbrush Best mode Assignee not of record can sign John johns. Some are not exact questions but testing the same concepts.
I found out you can opt out the 1 hr break if you want to. Sean, In response to 86, the last sentence is misleading. You may come in. Also try adding the following after the last sentence: You must be very careful about an AMENDMENT which incorporates by reference because if new matter is introduced, then you run the risk of adversely affecting your priority date. I think I understand now. Why do these things have to be so convoluted. Several others that escape me right now.
My advice is to take the practice tests until you know them very well a bit repetitive, but it works! But be careful— I had a couple of questions that seemed extremely similar to past test questions that were altered in a way that changed the answer.
I had zero PCT questions in the morning, then a slew of them in the afternoon. The terminal disclaimer, to be recorded in the Patent and Trademark Office, must: Since the question is related to a patent with divided interest, I believe only i and iv can sign terminal discliamer for this question. Hi there, I guess I wrote it very fast and if you do not pay attention is confusing. All parties having any portion of the ownership in the patent property must act together as a composite entity in patent matters before the Office.
Here we have 2 assignees and the applicant, all have an undivided part interest. Also just as a note who does NOT have authority to sign a terminal disclaimer in a patent: Thanks to all contributed to this website, I passed the exam two days ago. There were at least 20 questions from Convert a non-provisional to a provisional to preserve a filing date. Most other questions were reported under exam questions and concept.
Here are two topics from a few I could not answer right away: Reasons for allowance MPEP Morning session was a lot harder than the afternoon session. I had only 20 minutes left to review about 10 marked questions. Questions in the afternoon were either repeats of old exam questions or reported recently tested questions.
I had an hour left to look up a few of unsure answers. Passed the test this morning! I had a very similar test as Y in the comment above me i. Morning section was a lot harder—heavy on obscure situations and maybe 5 repeats. I had 2 different questions that addressed the same topic: Which of the following must be in a provisional app? The only two credible choices were: Another one that stumped me was one that I initially thought was a repeat and it might be one.
It involved amendments that could be made at the time or after an appeal brief had been filed. Amendments filed on or after the date of filing a brief pursuant to 37 CFR A cancel claims, where such cancellation does not affect the scope of any other pending claim in the proceeding; or. Furthermore its a misquote of the MPEP. But none of the other choices suggested canceling claims, so I went with it. Good luck studying, this website is a great resource.
Passed on the first try, fortunately I had a lot of repeats as stated above. I was in at 8AM, out by 2PM. I used headphones provided by Prometric to keep noise out because a lot of people were in the testing center throughout the day.
The computers were new and the MPEP interface was reasonable. The answer sheet helped a lot. Thanks Redbull, mypatentbar for the new questions plus old tests, and the patbar. Now to study for the state bar.
Can you provide some more info on this question: This was my 2nd try. This time around, I re-used those materials for the audio lecture, but mainly did prior exams. I was able to recognize a lot of questions pretty fast and that helped out a lot. Options were along the lines of: I am taking the exam soon.
Can you provide some more detail on these questions, and what the answer was if you can remember? Buzzcuts — Similar to the Einstein question from a prior exams. A gets patent on hairgel and accuses B of infringing hairgel patent. B has been selling hairgel before A filed, and B published an ad more than 1 yr of A filing. B wants to participate as much as he can, what can B do? Inventors ABC, B citizenship wrong on oath. How can this be fixed?
Removing benefit of Priority — question stated that inventor wanted to extend his patent term by removing the benefit of priority to parent application. How is this done? MPEP — in reissue, when will statement of lack of deceptive intent in oath be challenged?
There were soooo many repeat questions. I also had interference questions which was NOT expected and I think they are beta questions. Another interesting question I had was when new arguments can be submitted after you file a reply brief and are awaiting a decision by the Board. They try and trick you up, but the only new argument you can submit is if there has been a new Fed case decision since filing your brief- you can use that and explain why it is relevant, that is the ONLY new argument you can make you can either submit in paper form or argue it at a requested oral hearing.
Hi Bobby, Congratulations on your pass. Can you please provide more information on the interesting question about the new argument?
However nothing came out as what you said. There is another part somewhere that says pretty much the same thing for written form as opposed to oral hearing. An appeal decided on the briefs without an oral hearing will receive the same consideration by the Board as appeals decided after an oral hearing.
If an oral hearing is held, an oral argument may be presented by, or on behalf of, the primary examiner if considered desirable by either the primary examiner or the Board. A hearing will be held as stated in the notice, and oral argument will ordinarily be limited to twenty minutes for appellant and fifteen minutes for the primary examiner unless otherwise ordered.
At the oral hearing, appellant may only rely on evidence that has been previously entered and considered by the primary examiner and present argument that has been relied upon in the brief or reply brief except as permitted by paragraph e 2 of this section.
The primary examiner may only rely on argument and evidence relied upon in an answer or a supplemental answer except as permitted by paragraph e 2 of this section. This site is amazing!! Thanks soo much for putting this all together. Patent bar courses are outrageously priced and all the material on this site is more than sufficient to pass the bar. I took the exam on Monday, May 18 in Bedford, Texas, and passed! I took the PLI live course in January, and did practice questions they provided for a few months.
Then, about a month before the exam, I began doing practice exams from This site was also a huge help in the final weeks, especially the repeat questions. I had several questions on the PCT and e. A quick word on this: For e know that there is a difference between pre- and post-Nov. The questions that drew my attention were directed to the filing of drawings. For example, if you file an app on Jan 4 without drawings, but with a complete spec and claims, and the PTO determines you need drawings, what is the filing date?
Brick Beck melting point. If I think of more, I will repost. Best of luck studying. I agree with what folks have said on this site. Do practice problems, especially from the exams. Know the repeat questions fyi, the only reason I finished in time is because I knew the repeats. Congrats on passing the exam! Do you still have your PLI materials and are you looking at selling those??
I am looking at purchasing a used bar review course. Sorry — also had: If tables are more than 51 pages does it have to be on a CD? The pertinent section of MPEP is Took the exam today third try and passed. I reread the exams the night before and in the morning. I then scanned ALL the questions first to see if any were repeats, and answered them first. I think this helped. Again, the PM session went quicker than the AM session. I had 45 minutes to look up answers, while in the AM it was 20 min or so.
I passed the test today on my first try. I was able to look up perhaps a handful of question on the MPEP, it was not very convenient. Some of the repeats were verbatim, but most had some changes in them. These are some of what I can remember:. How to make sure company xyz is owner on the patent fee transmittal A couple of fax questions A couple of certificate of mailing questions A couple of USPS Express mail questions Museum Ti ball prior art date is when indexed, I think 2 almost identical questions on new ground of rejection by BPAI 2 almost identical questions about a few claims rejected and a few allowed after appeal, what happens next?
Appeal brief is not filed, what happens appeal ends but the app goes back to examiner. I think after allowance, but not sure App is filed by A and B, but B thinks he should be the sole inventor, what can he do I think file his own app and request interference A tough question on f , mostly look up from What are the invention concepts of f.
Several questions on e , a with familiar fact patterns to identify how to overcome the rejections 2 or 3 questions on obviousness hard ones Restriction requirement and how examiner decides on restriction.
What can an assignee not of record sign? I think practitioner can continue prosecution. Claim counting still ! How to correct the address ADS, I think. Hair growth remedy and old shoe polish product claim a method of hair growth.
Electric toothbrush claim power source or something like that. A few reexam or reexam-related questions know only patents and printed pubs can be used, also inter-parte after Nov.
What to do you have 30 days to comment on it, after ISA report. Reissue app filed to claim forgotten foreign priority, what is needed?
Maintenance fee returned, how to send it back properly and what petition to file? How to cancel claim of foreign priority to increase patent term amend the spec. My recommendation is to review every exam till Wow that many repeats?
Did you see any new questions? I am scheduled to take the test in mid July; what are your tips? Means or step plus function claims 35 USC 6th paragragh Even after reading the corresponding part in chapter , I am still very confused. Can someone give me some old test exam questions to help me to understand the concept? CPA practice is applicable for design and not plant and utility applicns only from which date: I am very confused with this one- all the prev tests I have taken inform about the former date while MPEP Please help- I am taking the exam next week.
Hope this helps… I am afraid this is hardly the first item where there would appear to be inconsistencies between dates as enumerated in different parts of the MPEP…. Dan, I cant think of any new questions at the top of my head. The test center prevents you from noting down questions. My advise is to go over all the exam question, but delve deep into each answer and understand the possibilities. If you can supplement that with this site, you should be good to go.
I just found something interesting while doing question 19 October 15, , afternoon exam. However the two words are not in the same line. It was broken into two lines. Has anyone seen anything similar? I tried a few other search words where the sentence was staggered in two lines and it does not work unless it is in the same line.
I have downloaded the recent version of MPEP rev. Basic factual inquiries of Graham vs. In this one, only 3 are mentioned of which 1st and 2nd are repeats i. Am I missing something? Also a few qs: Also, are only b , c and d statutory bars? To answer , Thankyou- I got the same question: Inventor A agrees but inventor B disagrees. PCT- I got all the recently reported new questions.
Swedish — a variation- forward to IB may no longer be correct choice. PCT- Q changed but similar fact pattern The following are questions from Oct 03 exams. I am following this sites format except for underlining Q I say Q. Claim counting — Ans Japan — Ans 45days Action after 2x rejection — 2Q This time I changed my test prep strategy. I spent whatever time I had to study on the past exams until I knew every question.
Also used this web site. My test sounds like it easily could have been the same test as Mohammad and Roy. Did you do any exams prior to ? And if you did, would you suggest doing them or not. Also did many of the repeats have variations from the old exams or what majority were verbatim. Yes, there were a a bunch of questions from the and exams. So I would suggest going back to I know that learning more exams is not fun, but if you already did the and exams, then it will not be as difficult for you to do and because there are some questions from and that were repeated in and So you already did those questions.
Plus you are already familiar with the general concepts so you should have an easier time with the and exams. I wrote down the information of exactly how many repeats were verbatim or variations on scrap paper, but they made me turn everything in before I left.
I was not going to risk trying to smuggle it out, especially after passing the test. So this is just from memory. Many variants were of the type where the question was verbatim but the answer choices were different. That is still an advantage because at least I did not need to waste any time and energy just trying to understand the question, unlike my first time around. I also suggest knowing the post exam questions from this web site. I think that I had about of these on my test.
What an advantage for me the 2nd time around. The 1st time, I prepared by mainly focusing on what the course taught but did not know the old exams inside and out. Plus I was not aware of this blog. I used the wrong strategy for passing the test. This time around, I had already seen and studied about 80 of my test questions beforehand and instantly knew the answers to most of them.
I got a variation answer choice as I said above. The incorrect choices appeared similar to those in the original. So, you definitely want to look at the explanations in this question to know what is incorrect. I am happy to have stumbled upon this site. When you actually take the patent bar is it the same? Does anyone have the freepatentbar. With a very busy job at a High Tech startup, and a 2-year-old daughter, my time to study has been extremely reduced… So I took about 15 months, from the time I started studying until today… I purchased a used copy of the PLI course, and listened to all the tapes about 10 times each this is no joke, by now I can recite those tapes by memory!!!
After you take the tests, carefully review them at least the questions you get wrong and make very, very sure you understand why you got them wrong…. Good luck to everybody who will take the test, and congratulations on those who have passed it!!! Hey all, I just took the exam and passed!! Am very glad that I passed on the first try esp since I come from a non-law background. I have a Ph. D in molecular and cell biol and post doc in biomed sciences.
This site helped me a lot. Basically I worked on home study guide from PLI and took lots of exam from the patware as well as exams from to Work on the exams with MPEP, use acrobat reader 5 version. I did not get many repeats from old exam in my first session maybe 10 and a few variants. Also some qs that are posted by the prev exam takers. Make sure you know where to look them up in MPEP- many qs have 2 ans which are very close and you cannot tell the right ans till you refer to the MPEP.
I finished both my sessions in the first hour and spent the remaining two hours checking ans from MPEP. So mastering the MPEP in terms of looking it up and also the right combn of knowledge and past exams help to pass!
Good Luck all the exam takers, congrats to all who passed and thank you for this wonderful site. Passed on my first try. I took the PLI home study course. Did all the exams that were on Patware at least 2 times. Did a few more of the older exams that are not on Patware. And reviewed all the repeat questions pointed out on this site. My biggest problem was using the funky acrobat that they have and the fact that the resolution on the monitors is much lower, so you are stuck scrolling quite a bit.
In the end, know the basic materials that keep coming up in every exam, review the repeats pointed out here, and know how to search the MPEP. Is it a goof course? How much does it cost. I may be in terested in buying it.
Is your the home study version one? Congrats on passing the Exam! Is your PLI material still available for sale? The current material test is the MPEP version 8 rev. Is this what u were tested on? Looking forward to your reply. Know those chpt really well.
Other than that there were atleast qs fro and If you have PLI patware, use the customised exam option and take tests on above mentioned chpt- will help you familiarize with these chpts. Also, while taking the exam, minimize the MPEP window with your mouse dragging on the edges- that way you can compare key words directly from the exam.
Also, anyone interested in PLI materials? Hi Newbie… Congrats on passing! I plan to take the exam at the end of summer and would be interested in the used copy of PLI, let me know if you still have it. Sure Jay, Email me at sheelk hotmail.
In addition I can give you my notes- from chpt and which you ought to know cold. Anyone know anything about PES system from Colorado? But is it good? ANyone have any experience with a good course please help. Newbie, Congratulations on your pass! Did you run into the situation that two words that you searched were staggered in two lines? I am thinking to take the exame in August. I am using the PLI and Bullseye material. I hope OP weighs in to clarify how the actual job was different from the anticipated job.
Or was it more that OP did not fully understand the position before accepting? It would be weird for a company to pull a major bait and switch deliberately and unapologetically — weird, and not good for either company or employee.
If the OP feels strongly enough that he was deceived through no fault of his own he should consult an attorney to contest the debt. But if that costs more than the original debt it may not be worth it. Exempt employees are required to be paid a minimum wage per week, and must be paid for any weeks in which they work.
And yes, I agree that the OP should get a lawyer involved. Obviously if there was a reason the year could not be worked, especially due to actions from the employer, then there would be no need to repay. From what I gathered this is a voluntary separation done more because of a misunderstanding about the job requirements. I tend to believe people are telling the truth until I can prove otherwise, but we are getting one side of the story. If the error was done in good faith, in other words the company did not understand or did not communicate what they actually expected for that position, they have not made a moral error.
Taking a step back and considering the potential health implications, and having been in a similar situation before, I can relate to how detrimental stress can be. That said, I still think part of the agreement was to be with the company for a certain length of time. I think the real mistake was asking after the fact. If I were to leave on my own, what would the consequences be. The company never had the chance to do the right thing.
Yes, they made some missteps, but sometimes when a company knows someone is about to leave they can take the issue more seriously. What are you basing this on? They are absolutely required to be paid for the full week in any week in which they worked at all — but they are exempt from minimum wage and OT laws.
Most states do allow deductions from the final paycheck for money owed when the employee has agreed to it in writing. The rules on the final paycheck differ from the rules on regular paychecks. The computer employee exemption does not include employees engaged in the manufacture or repair of computer hardware and related equipment. I definitely noticed the taking of the last paycheck and was digging around to see what that might do.
OP, give the DOL of your state a jingle and see what they think. And of course vacation days, etc. However, if there is a question on this, the OP should definitely at least check her weekly numbers against the threshold and make sure she was on the right side. I feel for the OP here. I would hope that they would just drop it, but if they did ask, I would then suggest a re-payment plan as the OP described. I feel for the OP as well, but I still think she needs to honor the agreement.
Imagine that instead of owing money to her former employer, someone owed back rent to her former landlord. In my opinion, she is morally and legally obligated to pay back the siging bonus. Her financial straights do not change that one bit. So to pay it back all back at once is not an option, but she does need to try to work out a re-payment plan that she can afford.
For the record, I am in agreement that the OP should pay it back, for the reasons that everyone has stated. Unfortunately, it is not easy. There are a lot of business decisions at both the personal and corporate level that are only feasible if both sides believes the other will keep their word and honor their commitments.
The military, in error, gave us too much money for our final move. It sucked and we went into debt to pay it off, but it was the right thing to do so we did it. I was so afraid of accidentally spending it I opened a separate checking account and checked it every day — because thieves? An honorable person pays their debts. They put a clawback in the agreement that said if I left within 1 year, they get their money back.
I told the new company that I was in a clawback situation and they gave me a sign-on bonus equal to the amount I had to pay back with an equivalent clawback if I left within a year. After three months I had enough of their empty promises and contacted the original company to see if I could have my old job back. And guess what, I asked for a sign-on bonus equal to what I had to pay back company two.
Never cost me a dime. Sign on bonuses are vital tools to recruit people from other geographies. I absolutely use sign on bonuses with clawbacks to recruit people. I feel that I have to protect the integrity of the process by getting repayment. I believe that you accepted the terms of the agreement and you accepted the additional compensation.
Your duties at your employer can change at any time and most agreements will cover this. Your former employer committed to moving you and asked that you commit a year to them. You breached the agreement, you owe them.
Even if you believe there is such a thing — an ad or an interview cannot possibly give you enough info to make that determination. I really hope we can start seeing this phrase head into retirement when used sans irony. I thought the consulting lifestyle was romantic. Traveling every week to the same place every week and living in a hotel is far from romantic. Just a normal month end close with typing, checking numbers, sending emails.
I could have been anywhere doing anything with anybody — and I did a month end close at my desk. I really need better dreams. The moral dilemma is interesting: In a perfect world, companies would just fork it over at the end of that first work year. Sometimes less is more, ya know? Second, I want to echo what others said about how you should have negotiated it with your new employer when you took the job.
What can you do to help me out? So just consider it an expensive lesson for the next time this happens. I agree that, based on what you described, your old employer really screwed you. The contract said you had to pay it back if you left voluntarily, and you clearly did.
That has be factored into a budget to determine if she can afford to take the job. He absolutely should have factored that into his negotiations with his new employer. If hourly, the employee would at least be due miminum wage.
If salaried exempt, then no docking would be allowed for this type of money owed. Rarely are sign-on bonuses allocated for non-exempt workers. I think in the case of non-exempt, one has to be a little more careful.
Some states have a higher salary week minimum. In most states, deductions are allowed from the final paycheck if the employee has agreed to them in writing. I just remember the federal statute restricting when you could dock from salary pay or risk damaging exemption status, regardless of whether the state allowed it, or the employee agreed to it.
If it had been an advance on pay for work, maybe, but it sounds like the signing bonus was separate. Yes, but the final paycheck is governed by different laws than regular ones. I had been saying he and then I saw Alison say she and changed — figuring I was wrong…. Yet it appears only the OP was concerned about job performance. Perhaps the OP was overreacting and the company accepted the level of performance that was being offered.
On a different angle, I have seen incorrect legal advice twice in this thread. First of all, a contract is a 2-sided agreement and breach by one party e. In this case, it is quite possible that the employee has a legally valid defense to any repayment, so I would suggest we not advise the OP that this is an inarguable issue. Secondly, in many jurisdictions, employers are not allowed to withhold wages to pay even an agreed debt in this manner, and much less so when the debt is arguably not owed.
This is a requirement over and above the requirement to pay at least minimum wage for hours worked in every pay period. It just means that there may be consequences to doing that which will have to be managed. Ultimately, the thing that the OP has to do is solve the problem, not necessarily pay the money. The better solutions for solving the problem do involve paying, but failing that there are other survivable, if ugly, solutions.
One wrinkle to be aware of here — in many circumstances, the amount of debt forgiven has to be declared as income and is taxable. This is a really great point. Businesses themselves do the calculus of whether an agreement or law, sadly all too frequently is worth upholding or breaking when they decide how to run things.
Morals and ethics do not enter into that calculation. People do this individually to some extent, too—not too many folks are interested in the exact contents of the mutual funds in their k s, but they are certainly interested in the rate of return. Most mutual funds do have a few puppy-kicking, sidewalk-spitting, Nickelback-listening companies in there. This is a pretty ridiculous comment. I knew of several who felt stuck there due to signing bonuses, or even worse, student loan repayments that required them to stay 3 years.
I imagine the employer will take more kindly to a repayment plan if you are on top of communication regarding it. If you quit before Y months are up, you forfeit the remainder of the bonus. What was great about it was they tied the Y months to the required experience for the next position up. You were often promoted at the end of the bonus period, and your new pay was more than your previous pay with bonus.
This has been a really interesting discussion. I realize that they certainly require different knowledge and competencies, but ultimately they fulfilled their end of this contract by hiring you and employing you for the specified position, even if the details of this position were poorly communicated, or if as I suspect the company simply did not hire very capably for this position not to insult the OP, but his strengths are clearly elsewhere.
Furthermore, it would probably be difficult for the OP to turn around and attempt to disclaim his obligation to repay the debt after he agreed to have his final paycheck withheld to begin satisfying the debt. He essentially acknowledged the existence and validity of his obligation to repay the debt by agreeing to forfeit the final check to partially satisfy it. Pragmatically speaking, they may or may not send it to collections.
I kind of doubt that would be their first step, but I suppose it could come to that. Whoever has jurisdiction over this in the company may just not have gotten around to it yet, or it may have genuinely slipped through the cracks. You could start socking away money now and offer to pay them what you have, with some payment plan for the balance, once they do come calling.
Your last resort could be taking a loan to pay them immediately, and then have fixed payments with the bank. So it might also help to think of repaying the bonus as investing in your professional reputation for the future. All that said, I feel for the OP — relocation is expensive, and the situation sucks. Best wishes on the new position and getting this situation resolved. I typed my comment above right before heading to bed, so my words got a bit dyslexic. I did tell them to go ahead and take my last check, and to invoice me for the rest.
I asked them to invoice me, not the other way around as my comment above stated. I think worrying about this is actually worse than going into debt to repay it sooner.
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