My offer letter states that "Should you leave within your first year, you will pay back the full amount." Does the term "Should you leave" mean, that I need to pay back I am fired or if I leave voluntarily?


Given that the purpose of the bonus is to incentivize you to stay, and you are willing to do that, I see no reason why you shouldn't keep the signing bonus if you are fired.

While this is not totally without ambiguity, it is at least a fair reading of the statement that a pay back applies only to a voluntary departure, and ambiguities are generally interpreted against the drafter.

Also, keeping the signing bonus compensates you for having to start up at a new job only to have it promptly dissipate.

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