Is a signed and accepted offer letter a binding legal document?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a signed and accepted offer letter a binding legal document?

I was given a offer signed by my employer 2 1/2 years ago stating that “Life Insurance will be Available� along with some other benefits. I agreed and signed this offer letter and was hired on, again 2 1/2 years ago. Since then I have asked repeatedly about the life insurance and always get the

same thing – “It will be in place soon�. Is the offer letter that was signed by both my employer and myself a legal document and are they required to provide me with the life


Asked on July 31, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would only be an enforceable contract if it was for a defined or set period of time (e.g. a one-year, three-year, etc. contract). Under "employment at will," which is the law of the land in this country, if a document does not restrain or limit the employer's ability to alter the terms of employment for a fixed period of time, the document is not a contract and does not prevent them from going back on what they promised at will.

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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