Can an employer change your contract?

April 22, 2005

After I had a disagreement with my employer of six months, he retroactively added a nine-month probationary period to my contract. Can he make such changes without my consent? Should I try to fight this?

Q: After I had a disagreement with my employer of six months, he retroactively added a nine-month probationary period to my contract. Can he make such changes without my consent? Should I try to fight this?

A: Whether your employer can alter your contract retroactively depends on the terms of your original agreement and on your state's laws. But more to the point, instead of fighting this move, you should be thinking about whether it's indicative of other problems. It may be a signal to move on.

If you decide to leave, first consult with your attorney about the consequences of terminating your contract, especially if there's an enforceable noncompete clause. And consider nonlegal repercussions, such as negative references