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Old 01-06-2006, 01:36 PM   #1  
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Default Can Training Contracts Be Enforced?

I am looking for advice or personal experiences from those of you that have signed a training contract with a company, and left the company prior to the fulfillment of the contract.

- Are these contracts legally binding?
- What is the success rate of the companies that go after pilots for the monies that they feel are "owed" to them?
- How would one go about disputing a contract without having to deal with collectors and have it affect your credit rating?

I am a firm believer that it is the company's responsibility to provide a pilot with the job-specific training required to perform the duties of the job. I am in a position where I have an offer from another company that can offer me better pay, better QOL, and better experience. However, I am currently under contract with another company and, according to the contract in question, if I were to leave, I would owe them money. The offer of employment was conditional upon me signing this contract, and I feel that I signed it under duress. I provided a service to the company (and was undercompensated for my service at that) and I don't think I owe them one red cent. Every employee hired by a company is going to produce a different return on investment for the company. If the company is not going to provide a severence bonus for a pilot who exceeds the expected ROI, why should a pilot have to pay the company if they choose to leave prior to reaching that point?

If a company treated their employees well, they wouldn't have to bully them into staying.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:12 PM   #2  
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It's legally binding. I've talked to a few people that have bailed out on 135 cargo ops and had to buy out their contract.

If you don't want to sign a training contract I'd say it's not the right place for you.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:25 PM   #3  
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Be careful, QX has actually gone after one pilot and ruined his credit. He found out trying to take a loan out for a car. Bad company and bad business ethics, so I think if they pursue it, you will be guilty.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:01 AM   #4  
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I know that my company has been very sucessful in going after those that skip out on their contacts. We even had one guy called out of his Major airline G/S to answer why he wouldn't pay.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:06 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYBOYMATTHEW

I am a firm believer that it is the company's responsibility to provide a pilot with the job-specific training required to perform the duties of the job. I am in a position where I have an offer from another company that can offer me better pay, better QOL, and better experience. However, I am currently under contract with another company and, according to the contract in question, if I were to leave, I would owe them money. The offer of employment was conditional upon me signing this contract, and I feel that I signed it under duress. I provided a service to the company (and was undercompensated for my service at that) and I don't think I owe them one red cent. Every employee hired by a company is going to produce a different return on investment for the company. If the company is not going to provide a severence bonus for a pilot who exceeds the expected ROI, why should a pilot have to pay the company if they choose to leave prior to reaching that point?
And people wonder why we have "pay per view" training.

My company spends over 50k to train a new hire and you seem to think that its OK just to split.

Good luck in your future aviation career.
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:36 PM   #6  
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Can you think of another line of work where employees are trained to perform a specific job function for a company, and then are asked to repay the expenses when they leave? My contract says that if I was furloughed, and I took a job with another airline while on furlough, I still have to pay back the money. Does this sound like a symbiotic relationship to you? The company is looking out for its own best interest, why shouldn't I be looking out for mine? If the company gave 2 S%#@s about its employees, treated them like people, and paid above the poverty level, they probably wouldn't have to worry about paying lawyers 120% of the price of the contract to go after every employee who no longer wanted to be held hostage like an indentured servant by a piece of paper.

I have definitely learned my lesson, and this will be the first and last contract that I sign for a flying position.

Last edited by FLYBOYMATTHEW; 01-20-2006 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:35 AM   #7  
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So have you been furloughed? If not, what's the big deal?

In my prior life, I was a computer programmer, and my last programming job I landed through an agency. The agency charged the employer a fee, but I had to sign a contract with the agency that if I was placed and then left the job within six months I would be responsible for paying the agency fee back to the agency. The reason for that is because the agency offers the employer a money-back guarantee on the agency fee, so if I cause them to have to refund the fee, they still make their money. I worked for that company for well over the six months, by the way. (I was there for a little over six years before leaving to pursue a career in aviation.)

My point is, if the company invests money in you and offers you continuous employment and you choose to leave during that first year, you SHOULD pay them back. If they furlough you, I don't think they have the moral high ground (but you still shouldn't sign an agreement you don't intend to honor).
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