Do I have any legal recourse ifI signed a contract through a recruiter to accept a job but it hasn’t yet started?

Interviewed in 10/10. Offered position with a start date of 11/24. The client of the contractor that I was hired by decided to wait until after the holidays to begin the project. Myself and 5 others hired were put off until 01/11, at which point I had turned down another opportunity (which are few an far between in construction) to start with this company; it was supposedly a long term project with good pay and benefits. January came and went and then we had a new start date of o2/14 with orientations scheduled. We signed all new paperwork, and now we are told the permits are still not ready. Can I do anything?

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney; you may be able to take legal action under 1 or both of  the following theories:

1) Promissory estoppel: if in reasonable reliance on another party's promise (the promise of a job), you took actions to your detriment (turning down other opportunities), if the other party knew or should have known you would take such actions, you may be able to sue them for damages.

2) You say paperwork was signed; if so, depending on what it says, it may constitute an employment agreement or contract to give you a job.

It would be worth the attorney consultation to see if you have a case, how strong it may be, and what it may be worth. Bring all correspondence and documents. Good luck.


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