After signing a written offer agreement, can and employer just change their mind after two weeks of working?

After accepting and signing written
acceptance, which included a relocation
package that included relocation by a specific
date, after two weeks of employment and
paying out of my pocket to secure housing,
can and employer legally then comment and
say to you that they have changed their mind ?
Not only did I commute daily two hours each
Way, now I am stuck with two apartments and
no job. Please help.

Asked on July 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you had an actual written employment contract or not. If you did, they could not terminate you in any way which violates the contract; if they did, you could sue them based on "breach of contract" for monetary compensation (generally equal to a few month's wages, or wages for the remaining period or duration of the contract). But if you did not have an enforceable written contract, you were an employee at will, and your employer could terminate your employment at any time, for any reason, regardless of the effect on you.
Not everything you sign is an enforceable contract. In the employment law context, an enforceable contract MUST be for a defined or definite period, such as a one-year, two-year, etc. contarct. A document which does not have a defined length or term does not protect your employment for any given length of time; rather, the employer can still change the employment or even terminate you at any time, and you remain an employee at will. Therefore, if the written acceptance or written offer did not guaranty you a job for a certain period of time, it was not an enforceable contract and you could be terminated at will, regardless of the impact on you.


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