My Inquiry:I work for a major financial company in NY. I received a job offer and accepted and gave my 2 weeks notice. I am being told that i am part of a new garden leave policy for the company and must give 30 days notice and not start work for another company for 30 days as well. I'm told if i violate policy i must also return the gross cash award bonus i received in January. I do not have an employment contract. I have 30 years of bridged service, with my most recent hire January 2010. NY is an at will state. The policy in the employee handbook, which i'm being told is relatively new, does not state who it applies to in my department. it only states HR will notify you if you fall under the policy. So, my questions are, can they force me to not go to work for another company for 30 days, and can they force me to pay back my bonus as well. If i start work with another company what can they legally do. I do not have to work at the firm for 30 days, but they will pay me for that time period. I've asked them to not pay me and they refused. I gave notice 4/17, and have a start date of 5/6 with my new company. Please advise. Thank you.