I'm set to move and work for a company in China in the near future. My contract stipulates that I'll have an initial training period for one year after which they'll offer me a permanent contract assuming I don't make an idiot out of myself. Normal stuff. The kicker is that if I'm offered a permanent contract, they expect me to work for them for a minimum of five years...should I resign anytime before five years they want/expect me to pay back all expenses for that initial training period of one year (flights, salary, the whole shebang). The cost of all that will easily be well over $50,000. Excuse my ignorance, but even if I sign, is that really enforceable? If I resign then I'll obviously return home here in the States, is pursuing me across borders really feasible? I understand they want to protect their investment like anyone would, but this is pretty damn close to indentured servitude. Obviously, I could magically become a crap employee and force them to fire me but keep in mind, I'll be living in THEIR country.
I'm trying to get a new (and reasonable) stipulation in the contract that would allow me to resign and not pay back the money should a personal and/or family emergency occur. I should also add that this is a very large firm so chasing $50,000 ish across borders won't affect their bottom line at all. Help!