What are my rights if I filled out an I-9 with the owner of a company at an interview but later the offer ws withdrawn?

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2013

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What are my rights if I filled out an I-9 with the owner of a company at an interview but later the offer ws withdrawn?

He stated that I got the job so we filled out the appropriate sections. However, a week later, he reneged on the agreement, stating that I was only an applicant for the job. Can I take legal action?

Asked on April 9, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employment is employment at will: that means that if there is no actual employment contract, an employer may generally fire an employee at will--or rescind a job offer. If you did not have an employment contract, therefore, the employer could most likely renege. The exception would be if all the following conditions were met:

1) To take the job, you had to do something significant to your detriment, like quit an existing job or relocate;

2) The employer knew that you would have to do that thing to your detriment;

3) Knowing you'd have to do that thing to your detriment, the employer nonetheless made the offer;

4) It was reasonable  for you to rely on the offer (i.e. no reasons to think it was not a sincere offer); and

5) In reasonable reliance on the offer, you in fact did that thing to your detriment.

If ALL those criteria are met, you may be able to seek compensation in a lawsuit under the theory of promissory estoppel.

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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