Do I have to resign and then get rehired, or can they just reclassify me?

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Do I have to resign and then get rehired, or can they just reclassify me?

I am the Music Director at church and am paid as a full time exempt employee. I will be semi retiring next month and going from being a full time employee to being a per event worker, which means they’ll add up how many masses I play for the month, and pay me at the end of each month for them. The event workers here are given a W2 we are not private contractors. The church is saying that to go from full time to event status, I must resign and then be rehired as an event worker. Can’t I just be reclassified without resigning? Is there a down side to either?

Asked on August 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you can be reclassified at will by your employer: the law lets employees change employee hours, amount of compensation, how compensation is calculated, etc. at will. So either they are misunderstanding the situation or they have a sinister motive: if you resign, they are not legally obligated to rehire you--they can let the resignation stand. And if you resign, which is a voluntary separation from employment, you would not be entitled to unemployment compensation (which you would be, for example, if they were to terminate your employment). So while you know your employer and we don't, and so you, not us, have a sense of their motivations, honesty, etc., all we can tell you is that having you resign first *could* be a ploy to end your employment without having you be eligible for unemployment compensation.


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