Can a company change their mind about hiring you?

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Can a company change their mind about hiring you?

I was offered a job after careful consideration by my then boss. She was questioning my background check since I had been arrested in December for aggravated battery. No charges were ever filed. She hired me, then a week later stated the doctor in the office told her she had to fire me. Stating someone told him about my background check. I spent money on supplies and uniforms and on top of that turned down 2 other job offers in the meantime. Do I have any legal recourse?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Because you turned down two other job offers and also spent money to prepare for the job, you *may* have recourse. Generally, an employer can fire someone at any time, even a week after hiring. However, there is a doctrine called "promissory estoppel" that can make a promise of employment legally binding. All the following conditions need to be met:

1) The employer knew that to accept their offer, you would have to do something to your detriment--such as giving up other job offers which they were aware you had;

2) Knowing you would have to do something to your detriment, they nonetheless made you the offer;

3) It was reasonable for  you to rely on the offer (i.e. no reason to doubt it); and

4) Reasonably relying on the offer, you did in fact do those things to your benefit.

When these conditions are met, the promisor can be "estopped"--or prevented--by denying or dishonoring your promise. If you think the conditions for promissory estoppel may have been met, you should speak with an employment law attorney to review the situation, your rights, and your options in greater detail.


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