I had a verbal agreement with my employer for employment. One of the stockholders is buying the company and I have been fired. What is my best move?

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I had a verbal agreement with my employer for employment. One of the stockholders is buying the company and I have been fired. What is my best move?

I went back to work for my former
employer which required me to give up
unemployment. A few weeks after I did
the company started to be purchased by
one of the stockholders. I was fired.
The CEO who will be replaced if sale
goes through promised me I would have
employment and health insurance if I
came back until I found another
position. Do I contact the other
shareholders and insist they honor that
deal or should I contact an attorney
and sue?

Asked on July 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Neither, unfortunately. In the absence of a written employment agreement either for a definite term (e.g. a one-year or five-year agreement) or which limits or restricts the reasons for which you could be terminated, your employment remained employment at will and you could be terminated at any time, for any reason. An oral (that's the better term than "verbal") promise like the one you describe is not enforceable in an employment context. For future reference, you have to make sure that you get agreements like this in writing to be enforceable.


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