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Lengthy Post Requesting Contract Help!

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Looking for advice on my current situation, sorry for the long post--
Here is some background information:
-Initially took my current job in inpatient medicine with 90-day notice in offer letter then my contract listed 120-day notice. Being a naive new grad not wanting to lose my chances of a job after 3 months of looking during a pandemic, I signed without question. Fast forward a very long and tough year later, I am now finally relocating to a new job out of state. A few days ago, I had a phone call with my manager in HR after reaching out with my resignation and that I was unable to fulfill 120 day notice and had to leave at 90 days due to relocating to which I was told over the phone that it was expected not to be an issue and would get back to me after their "leadership" meeting where they would discuss and officially accept the terms. I then received an email today that due to the "current patient care environment" they would not accept 90 days and that they "require" me to work for 120 days.
-Another issue I ran into was with my retention bonus (which prior to me starting, used to be a sign-on bonus). I asked during above phone call if I would still receive my bonus as my contract states "If physician assistant remains employed full time by *employer* through *year later* and in good standing, physician assistant will earn the right to payment of retention salary" My manager informed me since I was leaving, I would not receive my bonus. I don't understand why as I will still be considered a full-time employee at the time of my official one year date and am in good standing (which I assume means not in probation or having other issues with employment that wouldn't include me now resigning).
My questions:
1) Is this worth getting a lawyer to look over contract as I am currently planning to do or am I pretty out of luck with this? I have followed up with an email to manager to ask specifically what damages would incur with an early leave as I cannot fulfill the 120 days as I already told them and am waiting on a reply. This is my current plan of action but wanted to hear feedback if anyone has had luck getting a lawyer in a similar situation.
2) Should I look more into retention bonus or in anyone's experience, does "good standing" also include not currently in the process of resigning? Even though I will have technically fulfilled my 1-year retention and feel I am entitled to my bonus.
3) I read a separate post on a forum that if relocating to new state, a loophole to getting out of contract is to give up current state license so you get terminated automatically. Would this be a recipe for a lawsuit or since my contract states "revocation or suspension of physician assistant's license to practice medicine in the *state* " as a clause of automatic termination, would it in fact, be a loophole and get me out at 90 instead of 120?
Again, my next steps are to look into lawyers specializing in contracts, but wanted to reach out to hear advice from anyone who went through similar situation. I know this is hefty, but any help with this would be great! For context, my state is considered an at-will employment state.
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57 minutes ago, AbeTheBabe said:

How much is the retention bonus? If it's small and you need to leave for a new job, just tell them you will forfeit the bonus as long as they agree to let you go early on good terms. If not, you will hire a lawyer and possible take them to small claims court.

$3500. I was hoping to use the bonus towards the penalty I'm suspecting is coming my way for my early termination as the current penalty outlined in my contract states I am "liable for all losses and any other lost net revenues the company incurs and authorizes company to withhold the amount of the same from final paycheck" but an amount is not listed so hoping to find any and all ways to keep this down to 1-2 paychecks.

I reached out to my manager to again ask why I won't get this since she initially told me over the phone so that I have it in writing and sent consultation requests to a few lawyers so waiting to hear back. The company also waited 8 business days to post the opening for my job after my resignation so not sure if this is standard length to repost a position (although their postings are all very generic and through a big company) or if I can use this to help me cut some of the costs. 


Thanks for your input!

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On 10/24/2021 at 12:05 AM, AbeTheBabe said:

What does the contract state is the penalty for leaving before 120 days notice?

I am "liable for all losses and any other lost net revenues the company incurs and authorizes company to withhold the amount of the same from final paycheck." No stated amount and very vague contract language. Followed up again this week for an update and was told they are still discussing the "damages" with their legal team and will hear back once they have an update. 

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20 hours ago, AbeTheBabe said:

Sounds super sketchy, I'd recommend getting consultation from a lawyer.

Manager got back after I kept asking with an approximation of damages of $15,000 plus "any additional premium fees" for 14 shifts (for me to work these same shifts, it would have only cost ~$9,000). I spoke with a lawyer yesterday who advised me to wait it out and see what happens basically as far as seeing if I can get coverage and then wait to see if they take legal action following. He also told me they gave me that figure to intimidate me which I agreed. I was under the impression that when you get coverage in a situation like this, I would only have to pay the difference of the additional cost of coverage to have someone else work the shift (difference of what they would've paid me for the shifts vs what they now have to pay someone to get coverage). I am gonna follow my lawyer's advice for now and see what happens. 

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