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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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