Can an employer change an incentive once the criteria has been reached?

When I hired on to a local temp agency I was told that upon completing 90 days
I would receive a 500 bonus and a 1/hr pay increase. When I reached that 90
days I got an email and a phone call saying that was not going to happen. Do I
have any legal right to that compensation?

Asked on March 6, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you had a written employment contract for a set or defined period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) guarantying you the pay or the bonus or both, they have to provide them to you: if they don't, you could sue them for "breach of contract" for violating the contract's terms.
If you did not have such a contract, however, you were an "employee at will" and an employer may change or reduce an employee at will's pay, bonus, etc. at any time, for any reason, including reneging on what it promised. Wthout a written contract, you have no enforceable right to these things.


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