Binding offer letter?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Binding offer letter?
I just started a new healthcare job. I received my offer letter stating regular full-time at pay rate x. When I got to the orientation they had me listed as per diem we did discuss both type of positions at the hr interview time and when questioned about it they are saying the full-time was a typo. I have made life changes fully left my previous job on the basis of the letter. Do they have to honor what they wrote in their offer?
Asked on June 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
An offer letter is only binding if it formed an enforceable contract. In an employment law setting, that means it must have been for a set or guaranteed period of time: e.g. a one-year, two-year, five-year, etc. contract. Because "employment at will" is the law of the land except when changed by contract, unless the letter guaranteed the terms of your job and compensation for a set period, the employer may change your job or compensation at will (or even simply terminate you). An "open ended" letter which does not lock in the job for a set period of time simply does not guaranty you anything; it is only an expression of what they contemplated offering you, but can be changed by them at will.
If the letter did form an enforceable contract by being for a set period of time, then if they violate it, you could sue them for "breach of contract' to get what you are entitled to.
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