Sudden change in Job Offer/Position

I am computer programmer/developer. I just took a 1099 contractor full-time offer through a consulting company, to work for a Fortune 500 tech company. I interviewed took the job offer, got an apartment with 12 month lease, was given a start date, was moved across states. Now 3 days before starting, the consulting company, wants to position me to a different company but in the same city. They want me to interview for this new job, with an unknown start date, and a unknown job description. I am honestly baffled. I moved to a new state/city to for 18 month contract with a large company, now they want me to interview of another company and they won’t start my pay until I start at the new place. I have already signed a lease with an apartment and moved. I feel terrible.

Asked on March 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

IF you have a written contract for a defined period of time (e.g. a one-year contract with set start and end dates), you can enforce the terms of that contract if helpful to you. The other party to the contract (i.e. the consulting company) has to honor the contract and if they do not, you can sue them for "breach of contract." You can't enforce or require more than the contract says in its plain language, but you can enforce whatever its actual terms are.
However, if you don't have such a written contract for a defined period, your employment was employmet at will and they could do anything up to and including simply terminating you--employees at will have essentially no  rights at or to their jobs. If you moved, signed a lease, etc. without a written contract, you are in a vulnerable position.


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