Can I receive compensation after moving for a job offer only to find out the day before I start that there has been a hiring freeze?

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Can I receive compensation after moving for a job offer only to find out the day before I start that there has been a hiring freeze?

I moved from across the state for a job as an Assistant Construction Manager for a home builder. After moving to and signing a 1 year lease, I receive a phone call the night before I start stating that there has been a hiring freeze and I no longer have a job. I am a recent collage graduate and spent the money to move, signed a lease, and purchased home goods all based on that I would have a job. The job offer stated I was a 90 day probationary period, can I receive compensation for moving expenses, help breaking my lease, or 90 days worth of pay?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may be entitled to receive compensation--possibly for your costs and expenses, or possibly for the 90 day period you could have reasonably expected to hold the job.

Your claim would be based on "promissory estoppel." If party A makes a promise to party B, intending that party B will rely on it and, in the course of so relying, do something to its detriment (such as relocating for a job), and it is reasonable for party B to rely on that promise and B does in fact rely on the promise, that "detrimental reliance" may be enough to make the promise enforceable. It would be worth your while to discuss the situation with an attorney (e.g. an employment attorney) to discuss your options. Good luck.


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