If I’ve worked for a national company for 15 years but was never informed that promotions were based on having a college degree, do I have a claim for fraud?

I was offered the opportunity to interview for a promotion. The company flew me out for the interview, which went well. They called later to tell me I got the job and that HR would be getting in touch with me to finalize things. Then HR found out I do not have my college degree and denied the promotion based on that fact. Why did they fly me out to interview knowing I didn’t have my degree if that was a requirement? Why was I verbally offered the job if it was not an option? Why have I been working for a company that has never once said if I did not have a degree there is no upward mobility? I would never have stayed with the company if it was a policy.

Asked on October 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Fraud based on what? Did your employer ever misrepresent the eligibility requirements for obtainig a promotion? Were others promoted who did not have a degree? The fact is that unless you were afforded protection under company policy, a union agreement or employment contract, you have no claim here. Also, the denial of your promotion cannot be based on any form of actionable discrimination or retaliation.
What most workers fail to recognize is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that an employer can set the terms and condition of employment much as it sees fit or deems necessary. For their part, an employee can either comply with the work conditions, quit or attempt to fight them and risk termination.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.