Is it promissory estoppel if an employer withdraws a job offer to prospective employee’s detriment?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it promissory estoppel if an employer withdraws a job offer to prospective employee’s detriment?

A person accepted a job offer from an employer that pursued said person. Person accepted job offer, passed background check, passed medical tests, put in notice with current employer, and declined job offer with another prospective employer (based upon agreement to start employment with company that extended offer.) Has documentation showing date of hire, start date, which building to report to etc, money days until agreed upon start date. The prospective employer calls and says the job is no longer available and the person is now out of a job. Is this a case where promissory estoppel applies?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, this may well be a case where promissory estoppel applies. The key issue would be if the employer who has withdrawn the job offer knew, or should have known, that the prospective employee was quitting an existing job or that he turned down a different offer (if they knew or should have known of both, even better). The elements of promissory estoppel, aka detrimental reliance, are 1) a promise which it was reasonable rely on; 2) reasonable reliance was put on that promise; 3) in reasonable reliance, the person changed his/her position to his/her detriment; and 4) the promissor knew or should have known at the time they made the promise that it would be reasonable for the promissee to change his/her position, in reliance on the promise, to his or her detriment.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption