Can an employer impose a penalty on you for missing a deadline if you were not previously aware that you could be penalized for this?

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Can an employer impose a penalty on you for missing a deadline if you were not previously aware that you could be penalized for this?

My manager recently told me that she is imposing a penalty on missing deadlines and because I did not turn something in on time, she will move my anniversary review back 1 month. Can she do that? If so, should she inform the whole office of this new penalty for missing deadlines?

Asked on June 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless this is a direct violation of company policy, based on discrimination, or runs counter to an employment contract or union agreement, your employer can do this. Such action does not violate any law. While seemingly unfair your employer is well within its legal rights. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". Therefore, as a general rule, an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit. In turn, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice.


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