Can a companies definition of per diem, consist of paying you by the hour and just denying you any benefits?

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Can a companies definition of per diem, consist of paying you by the hour and just denying you any benefits?

I have worked for a company 3 years and started as per diiem. I have always received holiday pay. It’s a nursing facility and they have changed administrators several times. Their policy now states that per diem employees cannot have holiday pay. I don’t know if the old policies stated that or not, all I know if that I’ve always received holiday pay. Can my employer make me pay that back ? Their idea of Per-Diem is an employee that doesn’t get any benefits (vacation, sick leave, holiday, insurance, retirement). But they’re still just a regular employee, not on call, not traveling.

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, employers are not required to provide benefits at all--they don't have to provide vacation pay, sick pay, holiday pay, insurance, retirement, etc. Therefore, an employer could choose to not offer these to employees; and if they previously offered it, they could choose to not offer it going forward. (They can't make you repay amounts or benefits you previously received, however.)


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