Do we have legal recourse for being hired for an advertised job that didn’t exist?

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Do we have legal recourse for being hired for an advertised job that didn’t exist?

My friend told me about a job he saw advertised to drive truck for 5 days/6000 mIles a week. It was to pay $1620 a week per driver. Home on the weekends. So, we called and talked to a recruiter and was told how great this job was and how great the owner of the company was. We jumped through all the hoops – we filled out our applications, took our drug tests and got our background checks done. We even went and got doubles/triples endorsement on our CDL’s. We told we were hired and given a start date. We were also told that we could notify our current employers, which we did. When final details were given to us, we were told that we would be driving from twice a week. We have screen shots of the advertised add, money, miles and company that we would haul for. Then we were told that the specific job advertised and promised to us didn’t exist and they don’t understand why we would think that it did. We haven’t made anywhere near the money advertised, nor the miles advertised. Do we have any legal recourse against this employer?

Asked on November 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have recourse if you can show, as it appears you can, that 
1) they lied about the particulars of the job--not that they changed later (since a job can be changed by an employer more or less at will, unless there is a written contract locking its terms in), but that they lied from the get go--there was never any such job. In that case, what they did might be considered fraud; and/or 
2) You reasonably relied on a promise they made (of a job with certain terms) to induce or cause you to do something (sign up with them) and that to do that thing you did something to your detriment (quit an existing job) which they or their representatives/agents (e.g the recruiter) knew or reasonably should have known you'd do (i.e. the recruiter or company knew or should have known based on the circumstances that you'd quit an existing job)--if these conditions exist, they may have to honor their promise under the theory of promissory estoppel.
You should consult with an attorney about this situation, particularly an employment law attorney who does litigation (i.e. one who goes to court, not just one who draws up contracts or advises on benefits)--neither fraud cases nor promissory estoppel cases are easy for laypersons to bring, so you probably need attorney help.


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