Can I be forced to sign an

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2016

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Can I be forced to sign an

I’ve been working for my company since November 2015. In May 2016, we became a

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, they don't even need the letter unless you have a written employment contract guarantying your employment--without a written employment contract, *everyone* is an "at will" employee and may be terminated (or suspended, demoted, transferred, job or title changed, etc.) at will by the employer. So unless you have a contract, you are already employed at will.
(If you do have a written employment contract, you can't be forced to sign a letter changing your rights under it, and they can't fire you, or do anything to you, in violation of the contract; if they do, you could sue them for breach of contract.)
Second, yes, an employer may tell any employee who is not protected by a written employment contract that they must sign something, like the letter you describe--and if the employee does not, their refusal to do what they are told to do can be taken as resignation. (Or they could be fired for cause, for not following instructions, which has the same effect--if you resign or are fired "for cause," you cannot get unemployment benefits.)

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