Is there anything I can do to regain lost wages?

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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Is there anything I can do to regain lost wages?

I was offered a CSR position, and what I did once hired had nothing to do with customer service. I quit my job about a month ago because I was offered full-time employment as a customer service representative. And the job that I accepted is not what I was working. I could not do the job that was required and had to stop working. I in turn was evicted and I lost my car. The company caused me to give up secure employment and hired me under false pretenses. Now I have no income and no way to cover my bills.

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a company is free to determine its employee's duties, may change them at will, and does not have to have an employee's title match what he or she does. However, that said:

1) If you had an employment agreement specifying your duties, that agreement would be enforceable, and if the employer violated the agreement, you could sue them for compensation.

2) Even without an actual employment agreement, if the employer knew that to take the job with them, you would have to do something significant to your detriment, like giving up an existing job; knowing that, they still promised you a CSR position, to get you to give up your job and come to work for them; it was reasonable for you to rely on that promise (that is, there was no reason to distrust it); and you did in fact rely on the promise, to your detriment--if all that is true, then you may be able to enforce their promise of a CSR position under the doctrine of "promissory estoppel" and sue for compensation due to their breach of their promise.

From what you write, 2) above may be the case; it would be worthwhile for you to consult with an employment law attorney about the situation in detail, to see if you do have a viable  cause of action and what it might be worth. Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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