Is a email considered a contract

I’m working at the Chemical Demill in Pueblo Colorado And I currently work for CDI out of Denver. My 30 months of temporary assignment was coming to an end on May 19 which means my expenses would be terminated so I was planning to leave this job. I Received a email from the HR stating this and they asked if I wanted to try and get a extension for my expenses but it would have to be approved by plant management this was on the 3rd of may. So seeing I had nothing to lose and told I would be willing to do that. So she put in for it went all the proper channels and on the 9th of may received a email stating that all had been approved by management to get my extension for my expenses and the email really spelled out that my expenses would be paid until 1 of july 2016. So I changed all my other plans paid rent for another month and was prepared to stay till the 1st of july. Then I received a phone call stating that they had made a mistake and that they were only going to do it for 2 weeks this was on the 20th of may. My question is that the email spells it out to a T that I was to receive my expenses until the 1st of july. Can this email be used a legal binding and can they legally do this by Colorado laws.

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An email can form a binding contract: if you were going to continue working for the six weeks (it's not 100% clear from your question if you were), so that they offered you  consideration (e.g. money; the expenses) to keep working and you demonstrably accepted that offer, that would generally constitute a contract. (To have a contract, you need an offer, acceptance of that offer, and consideration, or something of value.) Furthermore, there is another non-contractual legal theory called "promissory estoppel" under which if someone makes you a promise to do something, acting on your promise requires you to do something to your detriment (like paying additional rent and changing plans), and it was reasonable to rely on their promise, you can sometimes enforce that promise in court. So with two possible ways to enforce their promise (as a contract; by promisslry estoppel), based on what you write, you should have a reasonable chance of prevailing in court were you to take legal action for the additional 4 weeks of expenses.

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