If I signed an NDA and an offer letter for a ‘at-will’ position with a future employer but decide after accepting to back out – does that future employer have any recourse?

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If I signed an NDA and an offer letter for a ‘at-will’ position with a future employer but decide after accepting to back out – does that future employer have any recourse?

I’ve signed an NDA and offer letter to start a position ‘at-will’ which is
clearly stated in the offer letter… if I decide before the date within the
offer letter that the new position would start on – to back out of the offer
does the future employer have any legal recourse? Can they sue for damages?
Any costs incurred during the interview process, after my initial acceptance or
what have you?

Asked on February 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They would only have recourse against you if one of the agreements you signed stated one or both of the following:
1) That if you backed out and did not take the position, you would pay certain costs or fees--if you contractually agreed to pay some amount in certain circumstances, you can held to that.
2) If you signed an actual employment contract for a definite time (e.g. a one-year contract) with a firm start date, then just as the employer would be obligated to employ you for that time, you are obligated to work for them for that time. If you fail to do so, if they can prove some loss or cost due to your breach of contract, the could  potentially sue you for that loss  or cost.


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