I signed a travel bond with my company related to an out of the country trip to migrate the processes abroad to our Shared Services in Manila. The bond states that I need to render 1 year from the date of return or pay the total cost of travel should I want to leave the company. On our last week, the project was discontinued because we lack resources with the required skill, specifically language skills, for the project.
When we returned to Manila, two of us were asked to sign a personnel action form stating that the bond still is valid and we will just be transferred to another group, wherein we will never be able to use our language skill but still be paid for it. I signed the contract knowing that the treatment will be the same for everyone who traveled.
The next day, I was surprised to find out that one of our teammates was given an option to leave the company without paying the bond and with severance pay. I raised this concern to the management by sending an e-mail saying that in my opinion, the treatment should be the same and that I should also be released from our bond. Management replied and insisted that I should abide by the contract or pay for the cost if I want to leave. Now I'm feeling forced to work for the new group and would like to seek an opportunity from other companies where I could use the language skill.
My questions are these:
1. Should I decide to resign and they won't allow me unless I pay the bond, will they have claims against me?
2. Can I file legal complaints based on the grounds that the treatment for us was different? (One was given an option to leave with severance while the others are not)
Hoping for your response. Thanks!