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Verbal Contract

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by hmlcat, Jun 15, 2012.

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  1. hmlcat

    hmlcat Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My husband was offered a job over the phone yesterday and he accepted. He had already gone through the application process, background check, references, took a tour of the facility, etc. He went in this morning for his drug test and to get his training schedule for next week. He was told that the person that had quit the job he was taking changed his mind and begged for his old job back. The company gave it to the "former" employee. Did they breach a verbal contract in doing that?
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Nope. They can hire whoever they want.
     
  3. fredrikklaw

    fredrikklaw Moderator

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    Quasi - Contract!

    HMLCAT:

    No; the Company did not breach any contract, be it oral, expressed, or implied because there really was no contract to begin with. What this company did however, was commit what the law of contracts terms as an Injustice by taking an unconscionable advantage of the unenforceable nature of the dealings between them and your husband. But that is not to say there is no remedy available.

    There is and so enter the doctrine of Promissory Estoppel, a cause of action used by the injured party to make a non-contractual and otherwise unenforceable promise, enforceable in order to avoid an injustice with Detrimental Reliance its most essential element. The detrimental reliance can be in the form of either action or forbearance by the plaintiff induced in him by the defendant’s promise; albeit unenforceable.

    In your husband’s case, think of what actions he was induced to take which could be (for example) quitting his previous job in order to start with this new company, and forbearance could be (for example) that he did not accept other job offers in reliance of starting work with the new company, all to his detriment, giving rise to actionable injuries which he has sustained as the result.

    So while he cannot sue on a cause of action for breach of contract, he can certainly bring suit to recover for any damages sustained on a cause of action for Promissory Estoppel for relying on the company's promise of new employment.

    fredrikklaw
     

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