Can my employer cut my total number of annual work days from my contract with no prior notice?

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Can my employer cut my total number of annual work days from my contract with no prior notice?

I work for a school district. For 6 years, I was contracted for 185 teaching days/year. Then, last year, my contract was suddenly reduced to 182 days per year. This is a net income loss of about $700. There was no notification that this was happening, nor has there ever been anything resembling and after-the-fact explanation. The cut has also meant that a staff of more than 30 people cannot have regular staff meetings and get paid for them. Is what the school district did legal in CO?

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking contract terms are considered negotiated and binding.  Unilateral contracts - where one party can make all the changes to the detriment of the other party - are not considered legal.  But without reading your contract it is difficult to say what you have negotiated here and what the school district can and can not do.  Is the contract renewed every year?  Then could it be that they offered you a "new" contract with reduced days and you accepted by signing?  Did you have the right to say no and look for another job?  These are all questions that need to be answered as well to give you an idea as to what happened and if it was legal.   Good luck.   


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