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Old 08-16-2018, 06:47 PM   #1  
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Default What to do....

..... when a company sends you a bill for "pilot expenses related to training" but NEVER signed a contract with that company. My understanding is that I don't owe them anything but should I worry that they are going to take legal action against me or is it scare tactics?
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:27 AM   #2  
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..... when a company sends you a bill for "pilot expenses related to training" but NEVER signed a contract with that company. My understanding is that I don't owe them anything but should I worry that they are going to take legal action against me or is it scare tactics?
Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I'd do. Leave.

I wouldn't have agreed to work for a company with such arrangements in the first place (but if I did, I'd stay and honor my agreement). In this case, if you had no verbal agreement, no written agreement, then were it me, I'd walk out the door and not look back.

Now you did say that you signed no agreement. Were you aware of their intent to collect training costs? Was there discussion, or any handshake, verbal agreement, discussion about, or hint or intimation of this?

Your wording suggests that your employer hit you out of the blue with this; no forewarning, no prior discussion. Is this the case, or did you know they'd be wanting reimbursement?

Your comments are very vague. What are "expenses related to pilot training?" They want you to pay back the hamburger they bought at lunch, or they want the cost of your training repaid in full? What expenses, and how do they relate? What level of training, and what did you actually receive from this training?

Be specific before we move on to discuss how this applies to you, because that depends on your answer here.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:04 AM   #3  
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..... when a company sends you a bill for "pilot expenses related to training" but NEVER signed a contract with that company. My understanding is that I don't owe them anything but should I worry that they are going to take legal action against me or is it scare tactics?
You need to provide a lot more info.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:54 AM   #4  
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Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I'd do. Leave.

I wouldn't have agreed to work for a company with such arrangements in the first place (but if I did, I'd stay and honor my agreement). In this case, if you had no verbal agreement, no written agreement, then were it me, I'd walk out the door and not look back.

Now you did say that you signed no agreement. Were you aware of their intent to collect training costs? Was there discussion, or any handshake, verbal agreement, discussion about, or hint or intimation of this?

Your wording suggests that your employer hit you out of the blue with this; no forewarning, no prior discussion. Is this the case, or did you know they'd be wanting reimbursement?

Your comments are very vague. What are "expenses related to pilot training?" They want you to pay back the hamburger they bought at lunch, or they want the cost of your training repaid in full? What expenses, and how do they relate? What level of training, and what did you actually receive from this training?

Be specific before we move on to discuss how this applies to you because that depends on your answer here.
1)Another company gave me a better job offer so I left.

2) The moment I told the company I was resigning due to having a better job offer, they immediately proceeded to tell me that I was going to be billed for pilot expenses (Look at #4) I was not expecting this, and if the company wanted to be reimbursed for pilot expenses, they should've made me sign a contract first day of indoc don't you think?

3)There was a discussion and I was aware of their intent to collect training costs if I decided to leave the company AFTER the initial checkride; that's when their contract kicks in. There was no handshake, verbal or written agreement after the discussion ended. I never made it to the checkride portion.

4)Basically, they are asking me to pay back hotel expenses, 2 hrs of flight time + instructor fees, and online training modules. No type rating required for this type of operation. The only thing that I received from this training was a basic 135 indoc.

Hope I'm being thorough and if you need more info just PM me.
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:22 PM   #5  
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Ask for original documents showing the charges you would be responsible for in the event of leaving. There might be something binding in your job application or employment contract. If they canít show you the written languageóhave a nice day.

GF
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:14 PM   #6  
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Send them a certified letter return receipt asking them to provide all documentation showing you would be responsible for said charges prior to said activity. State they have 10 days to respond. If they do not respond or do not provide the documents, this is great evidence in court that their "charges" hold no merit.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:59 AM   #7  
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1)Another company gave me a better job offer so I left.

2) The moment I told the company I was resigning due to having a better job offer, they immediately proceeded to tell me that I was going to be billed for pilot expenses (Look at #4) I was not expecting this, and if the company wanted to be reimbursed for pilot expenses, they should've made me sign a contract first day of indoc don't you think?

3)There was a discussion and I was aware of their intent to collect training costs if I decided to leave the company AFTER the initial checkride; that's when their contract kicks in. There was no handshake, verbal or written agreement after the discussion ended. I never made it to the checkride portion.

4)Basically, they are asking me to pay back hotel expenses, 2 hrs of flight time + instructor fees, and online training modules. No type rating required for this type of operation. The only thing that I received from this training was a basic 135 indoc.

Hope I'm being thorough and if you need more info just PM me.
The account of your situation is still vague, but there are several considerations here. Your immediate concern is whether you're legally obligated fo the repayment. No, you're not. This is to say, unless the employer chooses to come after you claiming that you have a duty to pay based on an existing agreement, it may be possible, but would be far too expensive for what you're describing, to make it worth their while.

That said, you agreed to take the job, agreed to take the training, and as soon as something brighter and shinier came along, you abandoned your commitment to this employer. In so doing, you're causing harm in several ways; you're burning resources for this employer (hotel, flight time, etc), but you're also stopping the employer from hiring a more reliable pilot: you agreed, and the employer committed to you, instead of continuing to look for someone else. Now the employer is without a pilot for a longer period of time, and will have to repeat the same expenses for the next guy.

With this in mind, regardless of whether you are legally obligated to repay the costs, the professional and correct thing to do would be to offer to pay them. It is you, after all, who is breaking faith and leaving.

It's because of employees who do this that employers have training contracts. You indicate that you knew that you'd be expected to repay the training if you elected to leave. You didn't say if you'd discussed a period of service as a condition of the training, but it's very common for new hires to expected to stay six months or a year in return for the training they receive.

You indicated that you only received basic indoctrination training, but also say that you flew for two hours; flight training is not basic indoc, so it appears that you received more training than just basic indoc.

You do need to think about your reputation. You do not want a reputation as someone who takes the money and runs. This may mean taking actual money (pay), or training; whatever you get, if it has value and you don't honor your commitment to the employer, you need to look at making restitution or making the employer whole. If your'e not willing to stay once you've committed to train, then don't take the job. If you do take the job, do the honorable thing and stand behind the commitment you've made. Simply because someone else comes along and offers you more money, does not alter the fact that you'd already committed to the current employer.

Another way you might think of it is a marriage; if you've just become married and committed to one person, it's not appropriate to cheat or walk away simply because you see someone that you think is more attractive.

An employer should not need a training contract in order for an employee to honor his or her commitment.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:37 AM   #8  
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That said, you agreed to take the job, agreed to take the training, and as soon as something brighter and shinier came along, you abandoned your commitment to this employer. In so doing, you're causing harm in several ways; you're burning resources for this employer (hotel, flight time, etc), but you're also stopping the employer from hiring a more reliable pilot: you agreed, and the employer committed to you, instead of continuing to look for someone else. Now the employer is without a pilot for a longer period of time, and will have to repeat the same expenses for the next guy.
Sounds to me like they should offer a competitive employment opportunity. Obviously they didnít. Sucks to be them, better luck next time.

Itís a pilots market, a lot of these places are going to get a wake up call when they canít staff their operations with max duty and min pay anymore. And thatís a good thing for any of us that fly for a living.

If you are in management or own one of these bottom rung operations, not so much.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:43 AM   #9  
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For the OP, nobody gives a rats a** about some crappy outfit saying you owe them money. In the course of renewing my security clearance I recently found out that a scumbag cargo outfit has been listing me as unhirable because I owe them a few hundred bucks for god knows what. It didnít stop me from getting hired to fly a widebody, so I doubt this will impact you in any real way.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:43 AM   #10  
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Quite so. The industry is full of pilots with zero integrity or honor, as you clearly know.
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