After signing a written offer agreement, can and employer just change their mind after two weeks of working?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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After signing a written offer agreement, can and employer just change their mind after two weeks of working?

After accepting and signing written
acceptance, which included a relocation
package that included relocation by a specific
date, after two weeks of employment and
paying out of my pocket to secure housing,
can and employer legally then comment and
say to you that they have changed their mind ?
Not only did I commute daily two hours each
Way, now I am stuck with two apartments and
no job. Please help.

Asked on July 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you had an actual written employment contract or not. If you did, they could not terminate you in any way which violates the contract; if they did, you could sue them based on "breach of contract" for monetary compensation (generally equal to a few month's wages, or wages for the remaining period or duration of the contract). But if you did not have an enforceable written contract, you were an employee at will, and your employer could terminate your employment at any time, for any reason, regardless of the effect on you.
Not everything you sign is an enforceable contract. In the employment law context, an enforceable contract MUST be for a defined or definite period, such as a one-year, two-year, etc. contarct. A document which does not have a defined length or term does not protect your employment for any given length of time; rather, the employer can still change the employment or even terminate you at any time, and you remain an employee at will. Therefore, if the written acceptance or written offer did not guaranty you a job for a certain period of time, it was not an enforceable contract and you could be terminated at will, regardless of the impact on you.

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.

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