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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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In late August, I applied for the Product Marketing Manager

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In late August, I applied for the Product Marketing Manager role for with a large organization and was given a verbal offer with an agreed upon start date of September 23rd. I was promised that a formal offer letter would follow shortly after a few “tick marks” were made. I was very excited to join the organization and offer my talents to the role. Days passed and I had yet to receive the written offer. However, my follow-ups were answered by the Human Resources Department with assurances that the position was still going forward, and the issue was merely “more complicated than originally thought.” I explicitly and repeatedly asked via phone calls and emails whether my position was at risk of being canceled. Two weeks prior to the start date, I was assured no cause for alarm even though I explicitly asked over voicemail and email whether my position was at risk of being canceled. With a lead-time of two-weeks, and no indication that the job was at risk, I acted on that verbal contract. Both my fiancé and I and resigned from our employment, packed our belongings, relinquished our lease to return to San Diego all the way from Germany in order to make the agreed start date. It was only after I had already relocated to San Diego that I received the first indication that there was an issue with my approaching employment at Rovi. Two days later on September 18th and five days before the original start date; I was unprofessionally informed that the position was cancelled. The idea that this organization would offer me a position verbally and influence me to relocate across the globe to meet a set start date strikes me as unethical, and in the state of California, I suspect is would be illegal according to California labor code 970. Due to the fact that I honored the verbal contract presented to me by the team, my fiancée’ and I now find ourselves jobless, homeless and displaced with damages rendered to our finances and career paths. To add fuel to the fire, the job was reposted two weeks later with the same job description. The cancellation of the position originally was stated to have been caused my a change in strategic direction and that the department wanted me; but funding and approval was out of their control. I applied for this new role thinking "here you go; I accept." No dice - I was rejected and only found out after I called the recruiter (who I basically had to find via detective work). The recruiter mentioned that the manager said I was not qualified last week and to not consider me. Why ? Nothing changed since last month. A few days later, the position description was changed without approval to exclude my initial application. Is this legal?


My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Did you receive a verbal contract of employment (that you would work there at a certain position guaranteed for a certain amount of time) or was it just a statement that they were offering you a position, which you accepted?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They stated more or less exactly this... - I'll give you a verbal offer - how's that? Salary of 106k base, 10% bonus, $1000 gym reimbursement program and open vacation that you need to approve with your director. Can you start on September 23rd and do you accept this offer?


I said yes

Hello Tom,

Thanks for the additional information. I'll look into this and get back to you shortly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Joseph. Are you there?

Hello Tom,

Yes, I'm still working on this. Please be patient. Thank you.
Hello Tom,

Unfortunately, you did not have an employment contract with the company, either verbal or written. You received a verbal job offer and accepted the position. However, that does not afford you any employment protection in California, since employment is at-will. This is due to the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at
the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a
specified term means an employment for a period greater than one

Honestly, judging by the facts that I have from you, I think a claim for a violation of California Labor Code Section 970 would also be difficult to prove. It seems that the primary basis for the claim would be the verbal contract offer.

However, it doesn’t appear that from that time that the employer did anything specific (other than the offer) to induce you to move. It is not illegal for an employer to give a job offer to someone out of state or out of the country and then rescind that job offer after a move due to the employment at-will doctrine.

You would need an actual intentional misrepresentation that caused you to move. Had you been told something along the lines of ‘move here, and we’ll work out the details when you’re here’ or the like that would give you good chances for a case, but it seems that you actually had indications that the job offer was not solid before you moved.

That said, if you have attorneys interested in your case, and they are willing to take the case on contingency, definitely go through with it since you have nothing to lose. But I would caution against hiring an attorney on an hourly basis who is interested in taking your case, as they may be more interested in lining their pockets with legal fees than giving you an objective assessment of your chances of receiving a decent settlement or verdict in your favor.

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra and is necessary even though you’ve made a deposit). Please also rate me highly (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey.

Thanks and best of luck!


Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Tom,

Just wanted to check in to see if you had any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!

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