If I signed an offer letter with a company, can they later revoke the offer?

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2010

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If I signed an offer letter with a company, can they later revoke the offer?

I signed an offer letter 3 weeks ago. It did not specify my exact start date but it was signed by myself and the VP. It was a standard offer letter. They called me and informed me my start date would be pushed back but kept inquiring if I rejected the other jobs offers I had on the table, which I did, 2 in total. Yesterday, they informed me that I will not be able to start because they could not work out the contract. Now I not only missed out on 1 other job offer but 2. Is this fair, can I take any legal action? The other jobs have now moved forward with other candidates.

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, District of Columbia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek help from an employment attorney in your area.  I can not see what the offer letter states and saying a "general" letter does not really help here.  The question is whether or not it is a contract and if you could rely on it (which you did) to your detriment.  That you state here that you could not start because they could not work out the contract may not be a good sign that the letter could be construed as one for your benefit. But the fact that they inquired about other job offers as if to make sure that you were still available and going to work there, well, that could be a plus for you.  Get legal help here.  Good luck.

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