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  #1  
Old 11-21-2018, 04:22 PM
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Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
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Default What happens when a company violates conditions in an offer letter?

One piece of advice that I often read on this board is to request certain conditions (promotions, raises, support, vacation days, benefits, etc.) that were verbally agreed to during the offer stage in writing.

However, what happens when a company doesn't follow through in the future? I'm not saying this has ever happened to me (it hasn't), but I'm thinking in my head, what can a person actually do about it if it were to happen?

So while I see the advice to request things in writing often, I don't see advice on requesting the consequences in writing, if those conditions aren't met.

Large corporations are powerful entities and taking legal action would certainly be a pain in the ass for the employee (financially, emotionally, and reputationally) to sue their own employer for damages. It's probably easier for the employee to simply quit, but if that's the ideal solution, what's the point of requesting conditions in writing?
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:32 PM
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It's not a situation I had to deal with, but I think you would be in a much better position if it were in writing. Then there is no question, when the company is deciding what to do, what you were told when hired.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:38 PM
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Probably nothing.
To be somewhat fair, when we get hired, we tell them we can do this and that and will be the best employee they've seen, but, sometimes turn out be shitty employees. So, oh well.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:46 PM
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I've never heard of a company violating something in writing.

I've heard of companies following up differently on things agreed upon verbally:

- Company A didn't have a study program when hiring candidate X, assured the candidate that they would put together one soon, and did a couple of weeks after candidate X joined.

- Company B verbally counter-offered to match an offer candidate Y got from Company C, but then once candidate Y reneged on Company C, Company B told them that the counter-offer didn't get approval from upper management.

Moral of the story: it's safest to get things in writing.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Large corporations are powerful entities and taking legal action would certainly be a pain in the ass for the employee (financially, emotionally, and reputationally) to sue their own employer for damages. It's probably easier for the employee to simply quit, but if that's the ideal solution, what's the point of requesting conditions in writing?
IANAL. If it's in writing, for a reasonable company, they're gonna drag their lawyer in right away and the lawyer will tell them they meed to honor what they agreed to in writing. If it's not in writing, they're also gonna drag their lawyer in right away, but what happens after that is less certain.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:07 PM
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Heard of it happening in terms of contractual bonuses... the person in question quit and sued the company. The president of said company was later fired.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:14 PM
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I see it as a signal to go elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:03 PM
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Don't corporations usually require arbitration in these situations?
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:41 AM
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Mostly it just clarifies that they actually agreed to something. Since HR handles the letter usually, you can’t just haphazardly say “oh sure we’ll give you all the days off you need for that, and for sure you’re bonus will be at least 10% of salary” in writing. Or if somebody told you something and isn’t even there any more when it comes due. Or can’t remember the discussion.

If a company wants to screw you they’ll probably get away with it but most companies are at least trying to be fair so it’s more about just documenting what was said so everybody remembers it.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:36 PM
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From personal experience, I had a situation dealing with a bonus for passing an exam on 1st attempt. I had been told attempts from prior companies wouldn't count against that. When I then passed the next exam on the 1st attempt [at that company], the chief actuary responded with "we're not paying you the exam, you've taken this elsewhere." [Which was then elaborated on to, "I don't pay that bonus to anyone who didn't start their career here."] It wasn't in writing, but I had specifically asked about it during interviews and asked about it again when the offer was tendered; both times it was "yeah, if you pass on the first time you take the exam with us, we'll pay the bonus."

The only potential recourse was to the CEO who had less spine than a rubber chicken, so there wasn't a whole lot to do except start looking for another job. So yeah, get things in writing - especially if what you've been told in an offer deviates from standard company practice or there's ambiguity that affects your salary or working conditions.

[P.S. to the story: I ended up getting the bonus paid, with a backhanded "just so you know, I didn't have to pay that bonus - I'm doing it as a one-time courtesy that you should make sure you appreciate." I showed my appreciation a few months later by bailing out on a luncheon for everyone who passed an exam, going on an interview elsewhere, and coming back and putting in notice.]
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