What are my rights if the business I am employed with changes ownership?

I have worked for my current employer as manager of the convenience store for over 8 years. The owners are a group of 3 gentlemen from out of state. One of the current owners is buying out the other two partners. The new owner will want me to continue managing the station for him. When this change occurs, what should I expect from the current owners and the new owner? For instance, should I receive a termination letter from the existing owners and do I have to accept the job offer from the new owner? I don’t want to accept the new job offer since I am currently not offered any benefits at all and because of the way they pay a low yearly salary and then pay me a monthly incentive bonus based on sales and margins within the store and a lot of times I don’t receive the full bonus because of low profit margins. When the income fluctuates so much it is

hard to budget being the sole income provider in our home with 3 children. I just want to know what my options are.

Asked on December 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You really don't have any options here unless any action by your new employer violates the terms of an existing and enforceable employment contract or union agreement. Otherwise, you are an "at will" worker which means that you can be terminated at any time for any or no reason. Basically, absent some form of legally actionable discriminaton, your employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. So you can either accept what they are offering or decline and quit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You don't have any options (other than quitting) unless you have a written employment contract which is still in effect (not expired), in which case you have whatever rights the contract, by its terms gives you. Without a contract, you are an employee at will: you can be terminated at any time; the employer controls your benefits, pay, hours, duties, etc.; and while you do not have to keep working for the new owners--you can always quit--if you do want to work for them, you have to take what they offer. Not accepting the new job offer or not agreeing to work them is quitting.

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