Sudden change in Job Offer/Position

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Sudden change in Job Offer/Position

I am computer programmer/developer. I just took a 1099 contractor full-time offer through a consulting company, to work for a Fortune 500 tech company. I interviewed took the job offer, got an apartment with 12 month lease, was given a start date, was moved across states. Now 3 days before starting, the consulting company, wants to position me to a different company but in the same city. They want me to interview for this new job, with an unknown start date, and a unknown job description. I am honestly baffled. I moved to a new state/city to for 18 month contract with a large company, now they want me to interview of another company and they won’t start my pay until I start at the new place. I have already signed a lease with an apartment and moved. I feel terrible.

Asked on March 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF you have a written contract for a defined period of time (e.g. a one-year contract with set start and end dates), you can enforce the terms of that contract if helpful to you. The other party to the contract (i.e. the consulting company) has to honor the contract and if they do not, you can sue them for "breach of contract." You can't enforce or require more than the contract says in its plain language, but you can enforce whatever its actual terms are.
However, if you don't have such a written contract for a defined period, your employment was employmet at will and they could do anything up to and including simply terminating you--employees at will have essentially no  rights at or to their jobs. If you moved, signed a lease, etc. without a written contract, you are in a vulnerable position.

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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