Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, an Illinois licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you.
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Unfortunately, the case law is pretty consistent. In employment situations there is no contract until it is in writing and signed by the parties. Without a written contract, any verbal offer of employment is revocable at any time. So, it is going to be nearly impossible to recover anything under the circumstances you describe.
A longshot possibility is a recovery under the equitable theory of "promissory estoppel". The elements of promissory estoppel are: (1) a clear and definite promise; (2) made with the expectation of reliance thereon; (3) the promisee in fact reasonably relied on the promise; and (4) detriment of a definite and substantial nature was incurred in reliance on the promise.The new employer was aware that you would rely on the offer. Therefore, while their offer of at-will employment is rescindable, because they knew you were going to rely on this and incur expenses, they may be liable for your damages for putting you in this position. It is a longshot, but, I believe, your only possibility for any recovery.While there is no requirement that you retain an attorney, equitable remedies always involve complex litigation and retaining experienced counsel is strongly recommended. If you need help finding a local litigation attorney, try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspxIt is a huge worldwide database searchable by location and specialty.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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