What is my recourse if I was laid off after 1 day on a job that was supposed to be a long term position?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is my recourse if I was laid off after 1 day on a job that was supposed to be a long term position?

I was told I was hired for a long term position for employment. I started the next day and when I left the boss said same time tomorrow. Then about an hour after I got home I got a call saying that they only needed a 1 day employee.

Asked on September 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you had a written employment contract guarantying you the job for some period of time and/or limiting the reasons you could be terminated, you can enforce that contract in court: the employer cannot terminate you in violation of the contract, and if they do, you could sue for compensation based on "beach of contract."
However, without an employment contract, you were an "employee at will," and an employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever, including the employer deciding they didn't want or need you for more than one day. An employee at will, unfortunately, does not have any protectible rights in or to his or her job. 
The promise of long-term employment is not binding on the employer unless it was put into a written contract; only written contracts are enforceable in an employment context, and the employer may disavow or renege on other promises.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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