This Woman Is Being Sued for $67,000 Because She Found a New Job
A popular Texas convenience store chain is suing a former assistant manager for thousands of dollars, claiming she broke her employment contract by leaving the job.
In 2009, Kelly Rieves was hired at Buc-ee's in Cypress, Texas, and left on good terms in 2012 to pursue another opportunity. Nearly a year later, the company contacted Rieves and informed her that she was being sued for "retention pay" to the tune of $67,720.
Retention pay is usually associated with bonuses aimed to limit employee turnover, but in this case, Buc-ee's used it as part of Rieves' normal compensation. The Houston Chronicle dug up court filings that break down the arrangement:
In 2009, Rieves negotiated a contract to join Buc-ee's for a salary of $55,000 a year. It was split into two buckets: $14 an hour, plus $1,528.67 per month that she would have to pay back in full if she left the company before five years had passed—regardless of the reason for termination... Rieves would also have to forfeit those earnings if she failed to give six months' notice of her departure, either before or after the five-year mark.
Before leaving, Rieves attempted to convince Buc-ee's to waive the restrictions, but it refused. Instead, the company laid out three possibilities: She could continue to work at Buc-ee's, she could take out a loan from Buc-ee's to pay the fee or she could try to persuade her new employer to pay Buc-ee's. Rieves found all three options unacceptable, so she left without knowing what would ultimately happen. Months later, she was hit with the lawsuit. Rieves countered with her own lawsuit, claiming these retention arrangements violate Texas law.