Can I sue my employer for being put on an unfair probational contract?

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Can I sue my employer for being put on an unfair probational contract?

I was put on an probational contract after working for my employer for 4 years. I have never been reprimanded or have any negative evaluations. I believe that the contract is unjust unfair and unwarranted but because I thought I would lose my job I signed it. I want it reversed and taken off of my employment record. Is that possible?

Asked on November 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) Fairness is irrelevant in the workplace--your employer is under no obligation to be fair. An employer may change the terms and conditions of your work at will, so long as--

a) It doesn't violate any existing contracts;

b) It is not discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sex, age over 40, disability, etc.

c) There is no retaliation for having used a protected benefit, like FMLA leave, or having filed or raised a protected claim, such as that there was discrimination.

2) A veteran employee may be put on a probationary contract.

3) If you signed the contract, you will be held to it--the employer may voluntarily release you from it, but as a general matter, mentally competent adults may not escape from contracts they voluntarily signed--and in this context, signing because you feared for your job is still "voluntary," because you have the option of not signing and seeking other employment. (It may not be a good choice, but it is a choice available to you.)

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 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.

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