What can I do if my employer offered me benefits that were not true?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my employer offered me benefits that were not true?

I recently accepted a job offer and have been working for my new company for more than 2 months. In the offer letter, they said I would receive fully paid benefits and they would provide a summary plan for me to review, and that I also would have access to a 401k with up to 5 employer match. Despite my asking on many occasions, I have never been provided a summary plan, and the last time I asked, the other day, they told me I need to go get a

physical first. This is a normal office job, nothing industrial, so I think this is weird, especially since I kinda need a doctor/healthcare to go get a physical. The 401k, when I asked about enrolling, they said,

Asked on May 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a written employment contract--not merely an offer letter, which is not enforceable, but an actual contract--specificying compensation and benefits, you would only have recourse if you left a pre-existing job for this one, or relocated from a different city, specifically because (at least in large part) of the promised benefits (and you have to be able to prove or establish by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it more likely that not, that you left the other job or relocated due to the benefits, whether by credible testimony, emails, etc.). In this event, you can potentially hold the employer accountable for its promises under the theory of "promissory estoppel," which can allow a court to enforce a non-contractual promise if someone, relying on it, did something to his or her significant detriment. 
Other than as the above, though, since employers can change, reduce, or discontinue benefits at any time (or make other changes to compensation), there is no legal action you could take.

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.

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