Do I have any recourse if I was the sole employee taking advantage of the company’s tutition reimbursement plan and it was discontinued?

The plan was ended without announcement in the middle of the year. When I completed the required forms and submitted for the coming semester (manager signed)I was then told that the program had been discontinued for financial reasons. My manager was disappointed and tried to make the difference up in an upcoming raise due ot a recent promotion. He was denied because of budget constraints. This is not settled well with me because we been outperforming budget each year since the discontinuation of the plan.

Asked on January 18, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If there had been an agreement in place to reimburse your tuition and you honored your obligations under such agreement (e.g. stayed with the company), or if you had signed up the classes in reasonable reliance on the company's promise to reimburse this tuition, you would seem to potentially have a claim against the company for the money they owe you. (If there'd been an agreement, you'd sue for breach of contract; if you had signed up for classes in reliance on their promise, you might have a claim based on "promissory estoppel.") Of course, if they will not voluntarily pay these amounts, you'd have to sue the company to recover the money, which may or may not be worth it.

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