If a company hires you in June and then has you start in July and then continues to push the date and now has never called to have you start is there recourse to recoup lost wages?

If I was hired with a company in June and it is now October and was promised to start on several different dates am I allowed to go back on them for loss of wages due to the fact I moved 8 hours to work here?

Asked on October 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, there is no recourse to recover your "lost wages" unless you actually had a written employment contract for a fixed duration (e.g. a one-year contract) which set your start date. If you did have such a contract, it is legally enforceable; you can sue for the wages you would have had under it. However, without a contract like this, all employment is employment at will--that is, you work at the "will," or choice, of the employer. They can delay your start date, rescind an offer or promise, or start you and immediately terminate you, all at will, without penalty. So without a contract, you had no legally enforceable right to start work, and so cannot sue. In the future, do not move for a job without a written employment agreemen to protect you.

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