Can an employer take your vacation accrual from a higher set of hours to a lower amount even after telling you the position was a lateral move?

I was a director of a call center for Freedom Mortgage and applied for the Manager position for The Correspondence and Research Department. I was advised it was a lateral move everything would remain the same. Most recently I checked my vacation accrual and noticed I only gained 10 hours of PTO when prior I was earning 14 hours a month. Is that allowed if they are telling me it was a lateral move. Most recently I went to look at the offer letter and it only makes mention of compensation remaining the same. I would have no knowledge that they would be adjusting anything else. Is that allowed if they are telling me it was a lateral move?

Asked on November 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

They can reduce your benefits or compensation, including vacation accrual, but only after notice to you--that is, only after you are told this will happen. Before you are made aware  of the difference--as you are now aware--they had to let you accrue at the same rate. Since lateral move implies no changes, they should have accrued the other 4 hours to you (but since you now know that you will get less, you will accrue less going forward).
In theory you could sue the employer for the 4 hours if they won't give them to you; in practice, it is not worth doing so.

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