What can we do if my fiance relied upon what he was told by his employer but they have not followed through to our detriment?

My fiance turned down a position due to it not paying enough. He has a good job and was protected by a union and had no interest in leaving. The recruter continued to raised the amount of pay until it was too high to refuse and verbally promised the contract to be secured for a minimum of 1 to 5 years. After quiting our jobs, uprooting our lives and pulling my son from the only school he had ever gone to it only took 6 months and the company refused to renew his contract, cut his pay by $11 a hour and said it was non-negotiable, take it or leave it. Now we are stuck in a lease we can’t afford and there is nothing we can do. When going back to look at the contracts the amount of time secured is varied but this is not what he was told.

Asked on February 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may not have any recourse. From what you write, there is no written contract as to what the recruiter promissed--whatever contract there was was apparently for only 6 months. If there was only a 6-month contract, then that is all your finance and you had any reasonable expectation of; furthermore, if there was a 6-month written contract, then any oral or verbal terms which did not make it into the contract are void. If there was no written contract at all, then the employment was employment at will, and the employer could certainly alter compensation, position, duties, etc. after 6 months, or even terminate your finance's employment. The only way to have protectible interests or rights in employment is to get them into a written contract; you are only legally entitled to what is in the contract.


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