What rights does employee have when alegal document and verbal statements contradict one another?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2011

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What rights does employee have when alegal document and verbal statements contradict one another?

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is NO easy answer to this, because it depends entirely on the circumstances, the timing of the agreements, the language of the agreements, etc. You should consult with an employment attorney who can evaluate the agreements and language for you to determine your rights.

Some general principals: as a general matter, an agreement can be changed or modified by a later agreement. So if you A hired B to work as an employee for, say, $25/hour, A and B could later agree that B will be paid more, be paid less, or be paid different (such as by commission). However, if there is a written agreement which includes the term or clause that "any changes to this agreement will not be enforceable unless made in writing," then that written agreement cannot later be changed by an oral agreement. As a general matter, too, both oral and written agreements are enforceable--writing does not automatically "trump" oral agreements, though as set forth above, depending on the terms of the specific written agreement, it may.

However, those are just general principals--you need to have the specifics evaluated to answer your question.

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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