What to do about a tuition reimbursement policy that was not fully explained to me?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about a tuition reimbursement policy that was not fully explained to me?

About 5 months ago, I submitted a request for Fall tuition reimbursement and it was approved. I submitted my grades as soon as they were posted, at the end of the semester (last month) in order to get reimbursement. Then last week, I asked HR when I would receive reimbursement for my tuition costs for the Fall semester. She mentioned it would be in my next check and added that it meant that I only had around $3,000 available for this year. I was surprised of hearing about this for the first time; it was not mentioned in any policy. They never said anything when I submitted my request nor when I submitted my grades. Now, I just have little money available for this uear, which is only covering 1/3 of my expenses. Can HR get away with this?

Asked on January 9, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is what did you and your company agree to? If the agreement was that they would promptly pay the full amount, then they must; on the other hand, if they only agreed a plan under which they would pay the $3,000, then that is what they need to pay. You therefore need to review all documentation, corresondence, notes, etc. about this policy which were available to you prior to you signing up fo rit. If it turns out that yes, you are only entitled to the $3,000, you cannot blame HR for not explaining it to you more detail this unless they actively misrepresented (lied) to you about the terms of the policy:

1) The law presumes that, in the absence of fraud (lies), a person understands and agrees to the terms of any agreement or policy he accepts; therefore, the obligation is on you to clear up any ambiguity and make sure you understand what you're signing up for.

2) Companies are not required to provide tuition reimbursement (and most don't); it purely voluntary for them to do this. Since it is voluntary, they may put whatever terms or conditions-or limitations--on it that they like.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you set forth a face to face meeting with your company's human resources department to go over your displeasure and request where in writing the tuition situation changed from what was represented to you previously and how matters can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Follow up with a confirming e mail.

What you have written about is an internal matter at this time not warranting legal intervention or recourse.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption