Can a company change their procedures for annual employee goals ?

I work for as an insurance underwriter In 12/01 I will be there 5 years.
Our company guidelines in our
employee handbook indicate that
an employee is to get an annual
review each year. Each year the
employee is supposed to get goals
for the new year. My manager did
not give me my goals for 2001 instead
he gave me a preformance action
plan letter on May 1 indicating I had to write 200,000 New Business premium
in 60 days.
On May 2nd the manager told the unit
he resigned. I felt this was unfair
because no other employee as far as I
know got this. I wondered how could
a company change its rules mid stream.

The other problem is I was recently
assigned new brokers in Feb and May.
I went out on marketing calls and
found out these agents did not have the
business the company wanted
and it would be difficult to get
new business from them.

I was not able to meet the goal so was put on warning. I replied to the warning
with details of the problems.
I went to the branch Hr asking
how they could single me out and that
manager did not give the required
annual goals and they are setting me up.
I then went to the HO Hr person.
They indicated that they did not
have to give me an annual goal because
when I had my December review although
I met all other areas I did not meet
my new biz goal last year so the 2000
goal would become my 2001 goal.
Can a company change there procedure
without notifying the employee?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 15, 2001 7:49 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Changing the Rules

You have a long question, but the answer is simple, and you won't like it: Yes, the employer can change procedures without telling you.

The answer is governed by the employment at will doctrine. This doctrine basically says that an employer can fire you at any time for any reason, or no reason at all, provided the reason is not one otherwise prohibited by law. No law prohibits private employers from changing rules at any time. And, in an extension of the employment at will doctrine, private employers do not have to be fair. They can be as arbitrary as they wish. If you don't like it, you can leave, at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Employee handbooks, under the employment at will doctrine, mean very little. They mean so little that, in my view, an employer can lie in a handbook and usually get away with it.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Aug 17, 2001 09:54 AM [EST]

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