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Two month ago I had an offer from consulting company to work

on site for one of...
Two month ago I had an offer from consulting company to work on site for one of company's clients. We have signed a contract. I passed a drug check and a background check. It took about 2 weeks. Then I've been told that they will give me a start date. After another week, I've been told that they still waiting a responce from the client. I called them several times during other several weeks. Every time I've been promissed that they will call me back but never did. During this period, I turned down several offers from other employers because I considered himself employed.
Can I in any way to claim compensation from the company for lost time and potential job opportunities?

Thank you.

Thank you!
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
7/11/2013
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,448
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Does the contract that you signed name a specific start date? Does is state that you can only be terminated for cause?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

There is no specific date because it was depend on how long it take to do my background check. I need to check my contract for a termination policy. I'll get back to you. Thank you.

Ok. Well, I can address your question just with the information concerning the lack of a date.

Here's the problem. There used to a claim called "promissory estoppel" which essentially means reasonable reliance. It could be used to sue an employer for not giving something that they had promised and the employee had reasonable relied on, to their detriment.

The courts took that claim away though in your state. It is no longer recognized in "at will" employment situations.

So, everything swings here on what type of contract you have. It doesn't have to say anything specific to make you "at will." That is the default position, so it has to say something specific to make you something other than "at will." If your contract doesn't specifically state that you can only be terminated for cause, it is an "at will" contract.

If it is an "at will" contract, you have no claim against the employer because "at will" employment can not be the basis for a "promissory estoppel" claim in your state.

If it is not an "at will" contract, then you're still not in the greatest position because the contract doesn't state a start date. Certainly, after a "reasonable" period of time (and yes, that is a very slippery term), you could sue them for not honoring the contract, but that is really going to depend on how long you've had to wait. Two months is a long wait, but at least one month of that is going to be considered "reasonable" if not 6 weeks. You'd then be suing over two weeks of lost wages and that suit would also result in your losing that job, because it is not a protected type of lawsuit (like suing for race discrimination).
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

The contract says that the agreement does not go into effect until I actually work on site specific assignment. So I think they covered themselves.

Thank you for your help.

No problem. I wish I could give you a different answer here.

Take care.
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,448
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified
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Satisfied Customers: 19,448
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