Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. I appreciate the information and I am sorry that you are in this situation."Detrimental reliance" generally must include these factors to be present:1. the promisor should 'reasonably expect' the premise to induce action or forebearance of action2. this action or forebearance must be of definite or substantial character AND3. such action or forebearance is induced.The issue here is whether or not such action was 'reasonably expected'. Could you 'reasonably expect' to keep your car or sell it, or could you reasonably expect to obtain a raise or retain employment. That, likely is not reasonable because, as you said, you were not under formal contract but were instead 'at-will'. Since there was nothing in place other than oral assurances, it is hard to claim that the courts would find those assurances to be reasonably relied upon. As much as I would wish to give you a different answer, and I do, simply looking at it from a 'reasonable person' standard makes it a very hard case to prevail against. This isn't a situation where you were compelled to move 1000 miles (for example), or go to school at your expense at their request. As a consequence I am not sure you could make this claim in this case.Good luck.
Just a few more questions. Do I have any recourse if 2 other managers knew I was being paid under the table to keep me? Doesn't that imply some sort of knowing or admission of there was wrong doing? Also, one of those 2 managers was also present when I was told to maintain $1k average and in 6 months my pay plan would be revised. He was also there when I was told by my GM to write up my pay plan proposal & it would be handled.
Thank you for your follow-up, Audrey. I am glad to further clarify.You asked:Do I have any recourse if 2 other managers knew I was being paid under the table to keep me?That permits you to contact the state department of labor and report the company for illegal wage practices, and report the same to the state unemployment agency. Just be aware that you would need to report and pay taxes on those funds on your tax return. Doesn't that imply some sort of knowing or admission of there was wrong doing? Not at all, it implies and show you were paid under the table, which in itself is a violation, but it is not an admission of further wrong-doing.Also, one of those 2 managers was also present when I was told to maintain $1k average and in 6 months my pay plan would be revised. He was also there when I was told by my GM to write up my pay plan proposal & it would be handled.Those were arguably unenforceable promises which the other party did not have to honor as they were not in writing. A promise to increase your wages is not binding without a written agreement Hope that helps.
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