What are my rights if a job offer was rescinded after I pointed out that the terms of employment violated state law?

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What are my rights if a job offer was rescinded after I pointed out that the terms of employment violated state law?

I was recently offered a job, and the offer letter was attached in the email. It stated a bunch of terms, one of which was on Saturdays the work schedule is from 10-5 with 1/15 minute break for lunch. In NY law it is stated that for that time period and those hours, employers must provide a 30 minute break. I questioned the hiring manager about this and he said, well we need coverage and the people can’t be away for over 15 minutes. I told him that it is illegal and asked if the letter could be re-written. The next day the offer was rescinded with no explanation. Do I have legal recourse?

Asked on June 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you do not have legal recourse:

1) An offer was made to you; you rejected that offer. Regardless of why it was rejected, once an offer is rejected, the offeree has given up any rights to enforce it in any way, and the offeror has no obligations vis-a-vis that offer. It is simply gone.

2) Contracts to do illegal things are not enforceable; if the job offer, as presented, included any illegal terms, the offer is unenforceable and you cannot base any claims on it.

3) Since you did not actually take the job and work without the lawful break, no actual breach of law was committed, so there is no claim growing out of that.

In short, by rejecting what you believed to be an illegal offer, you gave up any rights or potential recourse. The employer does not even owe you an explanation.


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