What can be done if a company is not following through with a counter offer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can be done if a company is not following through with a counter offer?

My friend was offered a job with my company. He put in his 2 weeks with his

current company. The company he is currently with gave him an offer to come on as an employee instead of a contractor. That came with a raise, benefits, and an extra week of vacation. After he declined the offer with my company, they told him they

weren’t going to follow through with their counter offer. Is this legal? What can be done?

Asked on January 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the counter was made in writing to your friend and especially if it contained some duration (e.g. guarantying him the new salary, etc. for at least a year), he can likely enforce it as a contact. Unfortunately for him, employment in this country is "employment at will": as a general matter, the employer can change its terms, or rescind its promises, at will (i.e. at any time, for any reason) except if they are "locked in" by a written contract, which for full enforceability needs to be for a set duration (since without a duration given, it could still be construed that the employer could change the terms at will). If your friend did not have some writing which would constitute or qualify as an enforceable contract, then the company could most likely go back on its promise, since without a written contract guarantying the terms of employment, the terms of your employment are essentially whatever the employer wants them to be.

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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