If my boss promised me a promotion but he was fired for other reasons, what do I do now?

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If my boss promised me a promotion but he was fired for other reasons, what do I do now?

The promise was verbal; when I asked my area ops manager he said no.

Asked on April 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law does not enforce gratuituos promises. A gratuitious promise is one made without the exchange or receipt of "consideration," which is something of value given in exchange for the promise. If you had to do or give up something in exchange for the promised promotion, such as--

Assumed extra responsibilities, worked extra hours, or accepted a transfer to a different location

Paid money to take training or educational classes, or acquire some certification

Gave up other job opportunties (which your employer was aware you were doing)

--you may be able to enforce the promise, as either a contract (because there was an exchange of consideration--you did or provided something for the promise) or  under the theory of "promissory estoppel" (you relied to your detriment on the promise, when the employer had knowledge that you would do so).

However, without having done, provided, or given up something of value, then this was a gratuitous promise, which is not binding or enforceable, and the area operations manager may disclaim or renege on it.


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