Change of policy after being hired.

My employer hired me under a policy that allows paid PTO if you resign from the position. Accrual of PTO was every 2 weeks at around 9 hours per pay period. There was also a policy in place to sell back PTO that wasn’t used. The manager now has placed a policy that says we can not sell back PTO and it will not be paid out at the time of resignation. Our sick time accrual has ceased as well. We were also told we should have enough PTO banked in order to carry us through in the event we need long term disability. He also said short term disability would do that but we would have to purchase that at open enrollment for benefits, but we can not do that now. open enrollment had passed when we were informed of the new policy. Can the organization change the policy after we were hired. I received an offer letter at employment that explained the amount of PTO time, etc. I am told that wasn’t a contract and they can change things after that time. I work in an office that it is difficult to take time off as we share the work schedule. So if she is off, I cannot be and vice versa. I have never been told I can’t take off, howeverI have been told someone else is off in another office at the same time and it may be difficult to take off too.

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Employers may change their policies and benefits at will, except to the extent that a written employment contract (including union agreement) for a set or specified period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) which is unexpired (so still in effect) prevents them from doing so. Offer letters generally do not form contracts, because they do not "lock in" the terms of employment for a set period of time; in the absence of a set period of time (during which changes are precluded) in the letter, the letter does not prevent changes at will. Based on what you write, your employer may make these changes. Except as limited by contract, employers unilaterally control the terms, benefits, policies, etc. at work.


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