Is there a legal case for an employee who resigns after receiving an offer letter to start new job only for the job to be rescinded?

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Is there a legal case for an employee who resigns after receiving an offer letter to start new job only for the job to be rescinded?

I was a vested employee after receiving an offer letter to new job same organization, different department I gave notice to my supervisor. To my surprise, the offer for new job was rescinded right before I was to start thus leaving me with no job. Is there legal recourse for this? I only resigned from my previous position due to the offer of new job with start date. There were no required physical or background check as I was internal applicant. My supervisor was very upset for me transferring and influenced the new employer to rescind their offer.

Asked on June 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, there is no recourse unless you have a written employment for the new position which had a set start date and guaranteed you employment for some fixed period of time (e.g. a one-year, two-year, etc. contract) after that start date. Without such a contract, you had no guaranty of the new position (it was employment at will) and could be terminated at any time--even before the job started, by having the offer rescinded. And at the time, you had resigned from your existing position. 
It's not enough to just have a start date: there must have been a written contract guarantying the job for some fixed time after that date. Otherwise, without a job being guaranteed for a fixed or defined time, your employer was free to, as stated, terminate it whenever they wanted--even before it actually began.


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