If a company advertises a job with benefits can it later drop the benefits for some but not others?

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If a company advertises a job with benefits can it later drop the benefits for some but not others?

I work from home for a outsourcing company. They had all of us at our level of Management then called Mentors apply for a new job title called QoS Leader. This was a Salary Position at $28,000.00 a year with Insurance and Paid vacation and sick days. However, today we were all informed that since we all applied we could be given the new title but none of the benefits or pay increase. We would stay hourly. There are others now with the same title that were already salary and make more because of it. This does not sound legal since we all applied for one job and got it but not the benefits.

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, a company is free to set--and therefore also change--benefits and compensation. It does not have to match title to benefits and compensation (e.g. you can be paid less than that title usually is), and it does not have to treat all employees with the same title the same or give them the same benefits. So generally, the company could do what you write. Here, though, are the exceptions--i.e. when the company can't do this:

1) If you had an actual employment agreement, specifying compensation or benefits; it must then be followed.

2) If there was no agreement, but in reasonable reliance on the promises or representations made by the company or employer, you gave up something valuable--e.g. left a different job; relocated--to apply for the position; in that case, they may have to honor those promises you responded to.

3) If the company is treating people different on account of a protected category, such as race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability; doing this may be illegal discrimination.


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