At what point is an employer obligated to give benefits an employee?

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At what point is an employer obligated to give benefits an employee?

I have been working 40 hours a weeks for 5 1/2 months (except holidays) and now the city wants to cut my hours to 20 a week. I took the job with understanding that it would become permanent. However, the HR person doesn’t want to pay benefits or retirement, so she has decided that my hours would be cut. Hiring freeze is in place but does not include police or fire.I am civilian employee of the police department. HR says policy was amended but the City Clerk says it was not. What can I do and should I have received benefits after 30 days of working 40 hours a week?

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, there is no law that requires employers generally to provide *any* benefits to any employees, so whether you are entitled to benefits after 30 days of 40 hour weeks depends on the policies your own employer has adopted. They cannot offer benefits to some employees but arbitrarily deny them to others, so you need to determine the policy (e.g. reference employee handbooks or manuals) and you can seek to enforce it, if appropriate.

Second, if you had a firm offer of permanenet time employment, not merely your own "understanding," and you accepted that offer, then you may be able to enforce it against the employer and obtain full time employment. That depends on the wording of any discussions, correspondence, memos, agreements, etc. and also the facts of the case. You may wish to consult with an employment attorney who can evaluate the facts of this matter in detail for you.


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