Is a verbal agreement a valid employment contract?

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Is a verbal agreement a valid employment contract?

I was hired 8 months ago as a temp employee for 3 months through a placement agency. After the 3 months, I inquired about my employment status to my supervisor. After discussing with our administrative manager she advised me that they wanted to keep me as a full-time employee but a contract would be made later because they were going through a company reorganization. I have been with them for 6 months now and my supervisor just told me I was going to be let go because they were cutting on budget. Can they do that? I turned down some other job offers because of what they told me.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

David Hodges / Kennedy Hodges LLP

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Typically, employment in Texas is "at will."  This means that you can quit at any time and your employer can fire you at any time, as long it is not for a discriminatory reason (and there a other exceptions beyond the scope of your question).  While one can have a contract for employment, as you have described the situation, it would be difficult to bring a breach of contract action.  A promise to later enter into an agreement is going to be very difficult to enforce.  You could theoretically have a claim for relying on their promise of future employment, but again, I think it's a difficult one.


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