Can a employer change my contract, or void it with notice, even though my contract says I am entitled to 30 days written notice?
Can a private employer change my contract or void it without notice, even if i should have 30 days written notice? My employer has given 1 day notice of contractual change, and that a new contract will be in effect as of Monday. Also, my boss told not come in because of the weather, however he did not send me written notice. I think he is trying to claim that I breached the contract as the contract provides I must work at least 30 hrs per week. How do I protect myself?
The previous Answer I see makes some good general points, but there's some practical advice missing here.
First, you are clearly at a crossroads as to how this employer and you are going to be delaing with each other in the future. Overly formulaic demands are going to send this in the direction of confrontation and utlitmately termination. I recommend a "stealth" approach to this as follows:
1. Paper every significant oral communication form your boss from now on, but do it non-confrontationally. For example, on the snow day matter, you might have sent your boss an e-mail saying "Thanks for offering me the weather day off in light of today's snow. I'll see you tomorrow." Now you have a written record of what happened and your boss can't claim you are making anything up.
2. On the contract reformation, I don't know what the new contract says or how it differs from the old. For all I know it may be better. I would need to know whether the existing contract affords you other rights that the new contract takes away, what it says about the process for modifying its terms, etc. It's dangerous to recommend a course of action without knowing the details of both the old and new contracts. If the new, in your view, substantialy reduces benefits of the old, it seems (again I haven't seen the contract) that your boss might be able to do this anyway in thirty days. Depending on things I do not know about this situation, you might politely write to your boss and say "As I read our existing agreement, it cannot be changed without 30 days notice. Please give me some time to look the revision and I'll get back to you so that we can work out a new arrangement by the time that notice period expires." Then contact a competent employment lawyer RIGHT AWAY and work this through.
3. Take a look at the employment pages of our website - http://eisen-shapiro.com/employment_law.php - (cut and paste this url into your browser) and the articles contained there. They might be of help to you.
First, if it's truly a contract, the employer CAN'T change it without your agreement--contracts are binding on both parties. So first thing to do is examine it and see if these truly is a contract, or if it's a listing of job requirements or conditions. If it's a contract, you can enforce it; if it's just how the employer describes your job to you, there's nothing to enforce--it's changeable at will (that's part of what "employment at will" means). If you're not sure, have an employment or labor lawyer look at it for you.
Second, honor all terms and conditions, and if you're told to deviate from the, make sure you document (in writing) the instruction. If it's a contract, as long as you uphold your end, the company needs to uphold its side.
You can protect yourself by following the contract to the letter, and sending written notice of any breach immediately.
A contract can not be changed "unilaterally", meaning by only one person. Most contracts have provisions in them that indicate that they can not be changed by only one party or how they can be changed. You need to read it over thoroughly.
As for the snow day, send a letter indicating that you were advised not to come to work by so and so and you complied as requested.