Can offer of employment be rescinded right before starting?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can offer of employment be rescinded right before starting?

Drug test was completed, background check was completed, signed all new hire paperwork, left the company expecting my next call to be about my start date and what was said was,

Asked on June 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In most cases, such a rescision is legal. However, if you entered into an employment contract, you could force your prospective employer to give you the job or else you could recover compensation (which is more likely what a court would choose). If you did not have an employment contract but you did something significant to your detriment in reliance on the promise of employment, you could still possibly hold this company accountable. However, it would require something like relocating for a job, leaving an existing job for the new one, etc. in order for you to prevail. If this was the case, you should consult firectly with an employment law attorney; they can best advise you further. The legal theory that they could proceed on "promissory estoppel", meaning someone can be stopped from denying a promise; it is also known as "detrimental reliance", since someone relied to thier detriment on such a promise. However, absent any of the above, this company was free to rescind this offer at will with no legal consequence.

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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