If avice president offered me a promotion within the company while she was intoxicated but now she has no recollection of it, what should I do?

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2011

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If avice president offered me a promotion within the company while she was intoxicated but now she has no recollection of it, what should I do?

Asked on November 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you probably can't do anything. A unilateral promises, whether made drunk or sober, is not enforceable as a general rule. It would only be enforceable if--

1) It  is actually a contract, but to be a contract requires not just offer (e.g. an offer that you'll get a promotion) and acceptance (e.g. you saying "yes"), but also consideration--e.g. you gave something of value to bind the contract, such as by taking on additional duties or work, or undergoing additional training, in exchange for getting the promotion. If you didn't give any considertion, it's just an unenforceable promise, not a contract.

2) Similarly, sometimes a promise can be made enforceable even if you did not give something of value to the other party, so long as you, acting in reasonable reliance on the promise, took some actions to your detriment, which the other party knew or should have known you would do. A common example is giving up another job opportunity because you were promised a promotion. But here, unless you 1) gave up something of value in reliance on this promise; 2) the reliance was reasonable; and 3) the VP knew or should have known you'd do this, the promise is not enforceable.

And even if you could show you gave up something, it would be difficult to prove that reliance on a drunken promise was reasonable.

So, it is therefore highly unlikely that you can enforce this promise.

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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