Can I be let go after being hired and signing a contact which included being given a starting date and a number for the virtual time clock?

I was hired by the principal of the school who was then let go a week later and told by the Pastor I would have to go through the interview process a second time with the leadership team who historically have not been involved in the hiring process. I received a letter 10 days later from the interim principal stating she had hired the person who best met the needs of the school at the time. I am certain it is because I was hired by the other principal who was not popular with the old timers.

Asked on November 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Was it a contract or just an offer letter? An employment contract contains terms limiting your ability to be terminated. For example, it might guaranty your employment for a certain time period (e.g. a year), or it might limit the grounds you could be fired for, or it may require that you receive a certain type of hearing or process before being terminated, etc. 
If there were limitiations on your ability to be terminated, then you had an enforceable employment contract and could only be terminated in accordance with its provisions. If they violated that agreement, you could sue them for breach of contract.
But if what you received did not contain restrictions on when, how, or why you could be terminated, then you could be terminated--or a job offer rescinded--at any time, for any reason, including because you were hired by the other principal; that's because when there are no limitations on termination, you are an employee at will, and employees at will have no guaranties to or protections for employment.


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