If I was offered a job with a company which I accepted but did not sign an employment contract, can it sue me if I accept another offer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I was offered a job with a company which I accepted but did not sign an employment contract, can it sue me if I accept another offer?

Company offer me a job and when I went to sign the employment contract, they were not ready to prepare the contract. They asked me to sign the confirmation letter which only state just stating, start date, salary, leaves, medical benefit, office location, office hour. In addition,

Asked on April 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you have not signed a contract obligating you to the job for a fixed or defined period of time (such a one-year employment contract) you can safely quit--with one exception (see below). Employment in this nation is "employment at will" when there is no contract locking the employment in for a fixed period of time. So without a contract, either party--either the employer or employee-- can terminate employment (e.g. quit or refuse the offer) whenever they want. A confirmation letter is not a contract, unless it has not just a start but also an end date (if it does, it would constitute a contract).
However, even when there is no contract, you can't commit fraud--lie about something important. You signed something saying that when you signed it, you were "not under screening process for any other companies." IF you take an offer from someone whom you were "under screening" when you signed the letter/note, then you would have committed fraud, since you said you were not; in that event, if they can show that you not taking the job cost them money (like a recruiter's fee, to quickly hire a replacement for you), they could sue you for that amount. But if you take an offer from someone whom you were not being screened by when you signed that offer, you are ok--in that event, you did not commit fraud.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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