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Job offer rescinded after significant costs in involved / Promissory Estable

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by Kenneth Block, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Kenneth Block

    Kenneth Block Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Tennessee
    I am looking a for good attorney looking to handle this case, circumstances detailed below:

    11/18 - Job offer given by State agency, but per HR rules I have 28 days to start. Impossible since family and home I owned were out of state. Told next recruitment was in 2/19 and that I needed to be ready to proceed shortly there after. I was told the position would be held for me until then. In response, my home was put on the market which I would not have done otherwise if I had no job offer. Sold for $1.1 Million and closing costs were significant.

    2/19- Re-applied and told I did not need to complete the interview process, that the job was mine. #2 in command assured me my start date would be in 6/19 and that the position was mine. Commending if anything, I was overly qualified and that I was overwhelming their #1 choice. I met and exceeded their minimum qualifications.

    3/19 - My home was sold and all my belongings were shipped out of state.

    4/19 - I signed a conditional job offer at the office, dependent upon background check and medical exam. Neither I had issues with. Walked around office, shown my desk and told what vehicle I would be assigned. shortly after my new home closed. I had 3 conditions I had to meet prior to employment, I had the live within 50 miles of the office, have a valid State driver's license and that I needed to begin within 28 days. I relied on these conditions to be ready once I was told I needed to start. None of the conditions were started. I moved into our new home and wife started a new career.

    5/19 - I called to determine what the delay was and told my recruitment from 2/19 needed to be re-flown and that i needed to re-apply. I did so and never received any further considerations.

    6/19 - Wife and kids are there full time and I am forced to fly back and forth weekly. My estimate loss in monies is approximately $100,000. I have applied for several jobs and have yet to be hired. Wife is now forced to hire childcare for duties I would have normally handled, not to mention this has caused significant family strain.

    **Important note**
    I needed to have a residence and drivers license prior to start of employment and I only had 28 days to make sure i was in comploienece***
    I am looking for reimbursement of costs incurred and other applicable monies. I need a good attorney willing to handle such a case.

    Any suggestions, I am being told by my home state that this is clearly a case of Promissory Estable.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Promissory estoppel..... And no, I don't think that is what you have here.

    You had a conditional job offer. Conditions had to be met. It is not clear to me whether you met these conditions on time, but even if so they could still rescind any offer. They are not required to hire you.

    The better move here would have been to obtain temporary housing at the new location, secure employment, THEN sell your home once established with the new employer.

    I don't believe your conditional job offer is going to support an argument that you are owed anything at all. For the amount of damages you are seeking you should be consulting with a personal attorney who can carefully review and discuss the details.
     
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  3. Kenneth Block

    Kenneth Block Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the insight, does anyone know of a good attorney to speak with in that area. I have no basis, but I have a strong suspicion that my religion could have come into play. I have a strong Muslim faith and this came up during my walk through
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Why on earth would you even bring that up? I've been on hundreds of job interviews in my life, never once occurred to me to mention my religion during the processing.


    We don't refer lawyers but there is a "find a lawyer" directory:

    Find a Lawyer in the Attorney Directory | TheLaw.com
     
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  5. Kenneth Block

    Kenneth Block Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It was not brought up doing an interview, it was more of an orientation...the topic of churches came up and I mentioned we were still looking for one. Thanks I will check the directory
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you have no basis for the complaint, don't bring it up.
     
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  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    It's possible that you might have a case for promissory estoppel, but those are hard cases to make if the job you were accepting was terminable at will by the employer. That's because when you accept the job you know from the start the employer could terminate you at any time, even the very next day, and so you assume the risk of that when accept it.

    And here you have more problems than most. First, according to your time line, you sold the home before you even actually applied for the job. You knew or at least should have known that a state agency cannot extend an offer of employment prior to announcing the job opening and taking your application. In short, that early promise of employment was not one on which you could have reasonably relied. And reasonable reliance is one of the key factors in a promissory estoppel case. So even if the promise made after you applied had good enough for a promissory estoppel case, I don't see you winning any damages for the premature sale of the house.

    The second problem I see is that when the actual offer was made (and which you signed), it was a conditional offer of employment. So what were the conditions? What promises were actually made in that offer? It may be that by the very terms of the offer you signed you could not have reasonably relied on having the job.

    Was Tennessee the state offering the job? The particular state matters a great deal because there are issues of sovereign immunity and procedure when suing the state that do not come up when suing a private person or entity. You may have to make an administrative claim or put the state on notice of your claim prior to filing the lawsuit, and you might only have a limited time to do that.

    I suggest you start by finding a lawyer in the state that was going to hire you who is familiar with the rules for suing the state. Because if you screw up on the special rules that may apply to sue the government, that alone might kill your case.
     
  8. Kenneth Block

    Kenneth Block Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Tax Counsel, great insight thank you. For clarification the position was with the State and the home sale only occurred after I received my verbal offer in 11/18 and 2 weeks prior to the signed conditional job offer. The conditional was for a medical exam and background check, either were conducted. When the position was first offered in 11/18, I was told I would only have 28 days to start. One of the hiring managers told me I would need to sell the house and be prepared to start immediately. Knowing that, after I received my verbal in 2/19. I knew I would have to be prepared to start immediately.
     

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