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Relocation Bonus Clawback in Big 4

From the mailbag, an EY senior manager is wondering if anyone has run into this relocation issue: 
I recently relocated to a new market and was given a relocation bonus.  As part of my transfer I had to sign a relocation payback type of agreement which states if I leave the firm within 36 months I may be required to payback the bonus.  I am trying to determine if this is something EY (or other firms) do frequently?  Or if it is more of a tool to keep people around.
I have a pretty good opportunity to work for a smaller firm, for more money in a better location but I am not sure I want to risk being on the hook for $25k. Thanks!
Anyone have experience with this?