What can be done if I haven’t received promised benefits?

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What can be done if I haven’t received promised benefits?

I have been working for a company for 9 years. Last year we were purchased as a franchise and lost a lot of benefits that we were not told we lost. I am a salaried manager. My store manager quit 4 months ago and I had been running a store by myself. I was promised a bonus for the work I had done maintaining the store by myself, pregnant. I was lied to about the amount and they included it in my regular pay taxing me like crazy. I then was promised I can use vacation time since they weren’t paying me. Now they are telling me I don’t have access to vacation time at the beginning of the year and that since I won’t be working I will lose some of my guaranteed 3 weeks because of it.

Asked on December 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You probably cannot do anything, unfortunately. The law does not enforce "gratuitous promises," or promises which are made freely by someone without getting anything in return. Since you were already working there, you did not give them anything in exchange for those promises--they already had your employment. Also, unless you had a written employment contract, you were an employee at will, and employers may change benefits of employees at will more or less at will. Between these two facts, it is unlikely that you have any legal recourse. Unfortunately, employers make promises all the time to employees which they break, and the law does not penalize them for this.


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