Can a employment agreement be changed by the employer just because they want to?

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Can a employment agreement be changed by the employer just because they want to?

I am a at will employee with a corporation; I work in thesame state. However, I live in in another state. I have a written agreement with this company that provides me with reimbursement for staying at a hotel during the week; it has no expiration date. Now, the company wants to change this agreement and stop paying for this. Do I have any legal recourse?

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employment agreement is like any other contract: it may not be changed unilaterally by one party without the consent or agreement of the other, except to the extent that the agreement itself gives the one party the right to change it.

However, you write that you are an at-will employee; that significantly degrades the utility of your agreement, since the employer could fire you if you are not willing to accept a change in the terms. After all, an at-will employee may be terminated at any time, for any reason (including, for example, that they feel you are too expensive if they have to pay for your hotel). So while technically they cannot the agreement without your consent, they may terminate you if you won't consent, which unfortunately renders the agreement rather moot.


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