Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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You possibly would have a claim if the CEO's promise of no job losses was certain and unconditional to the extent it would create an objective expectation of a job despite this restructuring. Employers’ oral or written assurances regarding job tenure or disciplinary procedures can create an implied contract for employment under which the employer cannot terminate an employee without just cause and cannot take any other adverse employment action without following such procedures. Employers can prevent assurances from creating an implied contract by including a clear and unambiguous disclaimer characterizing those assurances as company policies that do not create contractual obligations. Oral assurances must create a reasonable expectation in the employee in order for an implied contract to be created. However, often times employers have included in their policies a statement that employment is at will regardless of any other oral or written statement. Courts have found these to overcome any possible reasonable expectation of employment.
In your case you'll need to explore the employment policies to see if there is a disclaimer of contract, which may take the employer off the hook for following its handbook procedures. If you do not see one in there, you likely have a claim.
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