Is an email a binding agreement?

I was offered another position with another school, after getting confirmation from my current school about my pay through email. I decided to stay. My current job has decided that they don’t want to honor the pay. What can be done?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You say you received "confirmation" of your pay. An enforceable agreement requires two things:

1) An intention to form an agreement--if you were just asking what they are or are thinking of paying you and did not indicate that you had another job offer and would leave unless they paid you a certain amount, there would be no intention on their part to enter into an agreement; they were providing information, not contracting.

2) Consideration, or something of value--if you were already working there, there would be no consideration for the pay they told you about--you were not giving up anything for your wage or salary beyond the work you were already doing. (You'd have to give up something of value *beyond* the work you're doing anyway to provide consideration).

From what you write, it appears there was no enforceable agreement.


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