Can an employer legally hire you without disclosing plans to do away with the department and job title you were hired into?

In November of 2017, I was hired as a
field service engineer for a company.
That companys ceo had said they
were doing away with field service
altogether in 2021 in the minutes of a
board meeting months before I was
hired. That information was not
disclosed to me until last summer,
meaning they absolutely hired me
knowing they were going to terminate
the position without being transparent
about it. I turned down a full time
permanent position with equal
compensation at the time of hire.
I didnt think too much of this at first,
but I mentioned my story to a few
people who have me reconsidering this
as possibly actionable. Do I have any
grounds here? Company is based in
New York State. I work as a field
engineer for them in Tennessee, a right
to work state if that makes a difference
in this case.

Asked on January 22, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not at all actionable, unfortunately. There is NO legal obligation on employers to disclose their future plans for the company, the divisions/department, or that job; there being no obligation, there is no liability for not doing so. Further, employment in this nation is "employment at will": there is NO guaranty of a job, no right to a job, and you can lose the job at any time, for any reason. The "full-time" position you describe turning down--you could have lost that already (you could have lost it the day you were hired, or even have the job offer revoked before you started) so in the law's eyes, you gave up or lost nothing of value in taking the job you did instead of another one, given the total lack of job security: there was no reason to think you'd have have any other job for longer.

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