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I just received my first real job offer working as an engineer in a rotational program. The company extended the offer letter along with other information and documents about two months ago. In those documents, was an agreement that stated that the employer would provide a fully furnished apartment for each rotation (I will be traveling to three different locations within a 2 year period). Recently, the local HR rep has told me that they are actually revamping the contract to state that the employee (myself) is responsible for finding housing for the first rotation location,but some stipend will be provided. The stipend ranges from (at least what I’ve been told by the local rep) from 3,000 to 6,000. If the amount is on the lower end, this will not cover average housing in the first location’s area.

My question is: what can/should I do? I signed all of the contracts given to me and have sent them back to the employer. To my understanding, that should be binding and they should be responsible for housing.

I appreciate any sort of advice or any recommendations on what to do/who to reach out to. Thanks!

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    If they ask you to sign a new contract with an amount that is too low you can always decline. – sf02 Mar 26 at 18:48
  • @JoeStrazzere Wisconsin – JaYeFFKaY Mar 26 at 20:09
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For a full analysis of the contracts and your options, contact a lawyer who specializes in employment contracts and employee rights. I am not a lawyer.

I signed all of the contracts given to me and have sent them back to the employer. To my understanding, that should be binding and they should be responsible for housing.

This really depends on what the contracts say. It is not unusual for an employment agreement to include language that allows the employer to make changes with or without notice. In the case of at-will employment, a contract can be terminated by either party. It appears that your employer is terminating the existing agreement and proposing a new one.

Under at-will employment, if you decided to quit your job, your employer could not simply call the contract binding, and force you to keep working for them.

One option you have is not to sign the new contract, and find new employment. If you still want to remain employed, then you will likely need to accept the new agreement.

You could also leverage your position, as a desirable candidate for the job, to negotiate a compromise in the contract terms. To do so you would need to be willing to leave if your conditions are not met.

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I'm not going to talk about the contract situation, but give you some extra things to think about for your situation.

First you should not simply accept the situation where "the stipend is in the range...". Get them to explicitly tell you what the stipend will be in your situation. If you can, do some research and find reasonable places you would like to live and tell the company what they cost. That should be close to what they give you.

Second, don't neglect the cost of finding a place for yourself. In a strange city it takes time and money to find a place to live. If they are expecting you to live in an apartment rather than a hotel, they should either a) send you in advance, expenses paid, to the location so that you can find a place to live which you have seen for yourself and which you like, ready to move in when you start work; or b) pay for temporary accommodation in a hotel for several weeks while you find somewhere to live.

Third, make sure you and they have included all the costs of renting a place - furniture, appliances, cooking and eating utensils, TV and other electronics, insurance, taxes, utilities etc in the stipend they give you.

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    Don't forget the cost for furnishing - most apartments come unfurnished. – thursdaysgeek Mar 26 at 21:23

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