Can I hold an employer accountable if the salary it cannot actually pay the salary that was offered to me?

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Can I hold an employer accountable if the salary it cannot actually pay the salary that was offered to me?

I received a job offer letter indicating my acceptance of the offer along with salary. Employer is now indicating they cannot offer the salary due to HR policy. Is their internal process enough to allow them to not honor the offer?

Asked on November 9, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An offer letter can create a contract of employment and hold employers to its terms. On the other hand, (1) if the letter is insufficiently firm, it may not be enforceable at all; and (2) even if it is enforceable, employers can generally alter salaries or compensation, especially if there's no contract for a definite term (locking in the salary for  that time). If it's a significant difference between what  was offered and what you are receiving, it would be worthwhile consulting with an employment attorney to see  if, in this situation and on the basis of this offer letter, you have an enforceable agreement to pay you a certain amount. If the difference is small, it's probably not worth bothering.


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