What are my rights if I was denied a job after I was told to leave my other job?

UPDATED: Feb 9, 2012

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What are my rights if I was denied a job after I was told to leave my other job?

I was told and have a witness that I had a job. After I had drug screen I was told that I was hired and to start on the 8th of last month. I left my full-time job for a better job but on the 6th, I was told that they could not hire me. I know someone that works there and he said they have hired an African American woman to do the same job. Do I have an legal rights because they put me out of a job. I have a wife and 16 month old daughter depending on me to work. I can’t go back to my other job because they are in cost containment.

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have a claim under the theory of "promissory estoppel" (which is also sometime known as "detrimental reliance"). When--

1) Someone promises you something, like a job;

2) To accept the rpromise, you would have to do something to your detriment, such as giving up an existing job;

3) It is reasonable for you to rely on that promise; that is, it was plausible;

4) The party making the promise knew or reasonably should have known that you would have to do something to your detriment, such as leaving existing employment which they were aware of (i.e. they knew you had a job);

5) Knowing you'd have to do something to your detriment, they made the promise anyway; and

6) Acting in reasonable reliance on the promise, you did in fact take the detrimental step (in this case, leaving your job)

--then the promise may be found to be binding due to your detrimental reliance. (The promisor is "estopped" from not honoring his/her/its promise.) From what you write, this might be a case where you can enforce their promise (get a job; or at least get compensation) due to your detrimental reliance. It would be worth your while to consult in detail with an attorney about the situation. 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 AttorneyPages.com 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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