Can you be turned down for a job after successfully completeing a drug test and passing a backround check due to nepotism?

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2012

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Can you be turned down for a job after successfully completeing a drug test and passing a backround check due to nepotism?

I recently applied for a position at a car dealership. During my interview the general manager asked me if I had an hour to complete a drug test at a specified lab. He told me that the test must be done that day. A week after the test was complete, I contacted him regarding the position. He then told me that even though I had a clean test and clean driving record (he also photocopied my license during the interview) that he decided to hire a daughter of one of the other employees. Do I have any legal rights in this matter? I turned down another offer during this timeframe.

Asked on April 5, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you would not have any rights, unfortunately:

1) First, nepotism is legal--unfair, but legal. It is permitted to hire friends, family, family of friends, etc. instead of  other qualified applicants.

2) Second, meeting the criteria for a job, passing any checks or tests, etc. does not create a right to the job.

3) IF the employer had actually offered you the job or promised it to you, and when doing so, had known you had other job offers, and in reliance on that promise, you turned down the other offer, that might give you enforceable  rights under the theory of promissory estoppel. But if the employer never actually promised you the job, then there is no promise to enforce; and even if the employer had promised you a job, if he did not know you had another offer which you would turn down, his promise would not be binding anyway.

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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