Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear that your son's employment offer was rescinded. The general rule in North Carolina is that employment is "at will
" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated at any time for any reason not amounting to discrimination
on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation
for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage
claim, taking FMLA
leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination
is fair, reasonable or even true. So, since an employer can terminate an employee without reason on that employee's first day, the law generally permits employers to rescind job offers. Now, many states have recognized a limited exception to this rule for rescinded job offers based on a legal theory known as "promissory estoppel." The theory holds that where an employee relies to their detriment on a job offer that the employer may be "estopped" -- that is, prevented from -- rescinding that offer. Some states have held that incurring moving expenses would be sufficient "reliance" in order to invoke the promissory estoppel argument against a rescinded offer of employment. Unfortunately, though, North Carolina has held that relocation from one city to another in order to accept the employer's offer of employment is insufficient on its own to rebut the employment at will
presumption. You can read that decision here. While the law with regard to promissory estoppel and rescinded job offers is unclear in North Carolina, what is clear is that your son certainly relied to his detriment on this job offer. Courts will evaluate the unique facts of each case when deciding whether promissory estoppel should be recognized. So, while there is no clear NC case law affirming the ability to argue promissory estoppel based on moving expenses, the totality of your son's circumstances here may still yield a different result. For that reason, I think it would absolutely be prudent to retain a local employment attorney. Perhaps at the very least some sort of severance package can be arranged which compensates your son for the losses he has incurred as a result of accepting this job offer. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.