If it wasn’t bad enough that the 2008 class of associates at Lehman Brothers
worked a mere six weeks before the financial services firm collapsed, a year later, many of those same employees may be on the hook for repaying their $40,000 signing bonuses.
According to a report
on a British financial employment Web site, a number of 2008 associates received letters demanding the former employees pay back their signing bonuses.
, who is administering Lehman’s UK estate, sent the letters, not just asking for repayment of the bonuses, but also accrued interest and an increment for the depreciation of the British pound.
The bonuses were paid as a forgivable loan. If the employee stayed with the firm for a year and didn’t quit or get fired, it did not have to be repaid. But since the employees only worked for six weeks before the company collapsed, it’s uncertain how the wording of the bonus contracts addresses the employees’ involuntary unemployment.
Given the state of the market, that these fresh-out-of-business-school associates may have spent bonus money on repaying student loans and making ends meet while looking for a new job. It’s unclear what portion, if any, of the funds many of these former Lehman associates would be able to repay.
Write to Austin Kilgore