Could I win a wrongful termination suit?

My friend is a pianist at a ballet company. She had to take family leave to care for her mother who was dying from cancer. She was away for 16 weeks. At the end of the 12 week leave allowance, her contract was terminated. However, one month later after her mother passed awaythe ballet said that they would renew her contract on July 1 and would give her work on an hourly basis starting in May until the contract was to start. One month later, in response to an email letting them know she was able to work, the ballet responded that after looking at needs and finances, they were no longer in a position to offer her even part time employment. I know this to be a lie as I work at the same place. We have teachers using CD’s to teach class because we do not have enough pianists AND they are currently advertising for ‘immediate’ need for part time accompanists. Does she have any legal position since they told her in writing that she would be re-hired and because they lied about the reason for the offer being rescinded?

Asked on May 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, she has no legal recourse based on what you write. A non-contractual promise to hire someone, even if it's in writing, is not enforceable; and an employer is under no legal obligation whatsover to tell prospective employees the reasl reason(s) they are not being hired.


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