What are my rights regarding the loss of benefits and medical coverage?

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2012

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What are my rights regarding the loss of benefits and medical coverage?

I’ve been with my compnay as a full-time 40 hour a week employee for 7 years. I have worked my way to 3 weeks paid vacation and have full paid benefits for medical. This morning the boss informed us that we will no longer have paid vacations or medical but we will still be working the same hours. Is this legal?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, yes, this would be legal. Companies are free to determine the compensation, including benefits, of their employees, and may reduce pay or take away benefits that employees previously had. The three exceptions:

1) If  you have a contract guarantying benefits or salary, that contract is enforceable.

2) You can't be discriminated against due to your membership in a protected class or category (e.g. due to your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability).

3) You can't be retaliated against for having filed a protected claim (like for overtime or that you were discriminated against) or using a protected benefit (like FMLA leave).

Otherwise, though, the company may take away paid vacations and medical insurance.

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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