If I have an offer letter that my company is choosing to no longer honor, what are my rights?

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If I have an offer letter that my company is choosing to no longer honor, what are my rights?

I’m currently deployed to Afghanistanand before coming out here my company offered me a position with “competitive pay and benefits” along with 2 weeks mid term and 2 weeks end of contract vacation including paid leave and travel. Now that I’ve been here for a year and it’s time for my end of contract vacation, my company is telling me the offer letter they initially sent was a “mistake”, that it won’t be honored, and that it isn’t a “legal” document? Are they correct in their claim that the offer letter they sent me isn’t legal? If not, how do I go about seeking compensation?

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an attorney, bringing with you a copy of the letter and also discussing the circumstances in detail. An offer letter can be a contract, if it offered clear terms which you clearly evidenced acceptance of, and if there was "consideration"--or something offered or given up by each party--on both sides. Even if it was not a contract per se, if you reasonably relied upon it to your detriment (e.g. incurred costs, gave up other opportunities, etc.), that reasonable reliance could make it binding. And, of course, there are some laws protecting veteran and service person employment; therefore, from what you write, you may have enforceable rights, depending on the exact circumstances and the exact language of the agreement; that is why you should consult with an attorney, preferably an employment attorney, if possible.


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