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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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