Offer rescinded 3 days before

nonos's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 185

This is just a whiny post that doesn't bring anything to the community... but I still feel like whining out loud.

Networked my way in an elite boutique for one of their top group and finally got an offer 3 weeks ago. After I filed the paperwork and EAF, I didn't hear back from them at all. So Wednesday I decide to reach out to the HRs and ask if things are ok, over voicemail because no one picks up.

Then, they call me back yesterday and say that they're sorry, but they have to cancel the offer because they don't have the headcount. I was due to start on Monday... and, of course, I gave in my notice for my former job and today is my last day.

That sucks

What to do if an Offer is Rescinded?

It happens. Rarely. But it happens. If your offer has been rescinded, here are a few suggestions from the WSO community on next steps:

  • Reach out to your contacts at the firm and see if they can provide more information or even help you find another job
  • Maybe there was a red flag on your application that emerged at the last minute
  • If they said they don't have the headcount after they've made an offer, it's possible there's another reason such as a bad reference
  • If you've already resigned from your current firm, explain the situation to them and see if they will allow you to stay
  • Talk to the hiring manager and see if he or she can be helpful in providing contacts or solid leads

Should You Sue if This Happens to You?

It depends. Some WSO members strongly believe that suing the firm could mar your reputation on Wall Street, while others say you should sue if you think you have legal grounds. It will depend on how your contract was written; many include disclaimers that say they can rescind or make changes to the offer at any time. Also, most of these contracts in the US are "at will" and you could be fired day one.

If you decide to pursue legal action, here are some tips from WSO members:

  • Consult with a lawyer but remember this can be expensive
  • If the facts of your situation are all as stated, you probably have a legal case against this employer since you have suffered economic harm (in quitting your prior job based on the contract you signed)
  • The bank may be willing to settle for a couple months' salary which could help you meet expenses while you search for another job

Related Reading

Comments (71)

Jun 1, 2012

wow this is some fucked up shit.

reach out to your contacts and see if they can help?

Jun 1, 2012

Was there something on the application that killed your offer, maybe a bad reference?

Jun 1, 2012

That was a dick move. That's why I keep telling everyone even if you get an offer, hold on to other offers and don't let them go until you are a few months into the new job.

Jun 1, 2012
Human:

That was a dick move. That's why I keep telling everyone even if you get an offer, hold on to other offers and don't let them go until you are a few months into the new job.

other offers gonna expire by then brah

Jun 1, 2012

SA or FT?

Jun 1, 2012

sorry to hear this. is there anybody during your networking that you developed a good rapport with that you could possibly reach out to again? would your current employer be willing to have you stay a bit longer (you never know)?

good luck out there.

Jun 1, 2012

Sounds like you were going to be a SA. What a BS move by the firm..they should have let you know in advance. I'm sure this breaks some kind of labor law or something though.

Jun 1, 2012
IamObama:

Sounds like you were going to be a SA. What a BS move by the firm..they should have let you know in advance. I'm sure this breaks some kind of labor law or something though.

His post history said he graduated from his MSF in March so I don't think so

Jun 1, 2012

Is there any way to protect one's self from this type of thing?

Jun 1, 2012
UFOinsider:

Is there any way to protect one's self from this type of thing?

Also interested. If I receieved an offer, went through the paperwork, QUIT MY JOB, and was due to start in a few days and then told the offer was rescinded, I'm not sure what I would do.

I can't imagine being screwed any harder.

Jun 1, 2012

Were you coming in as an Associate?

Jun 1, 2012

Fuck man, that's awful. I have had a few interviews where I have shown up, then I learn that they do not have room, but this is another level.

The headcount reason is bullshit. You are an analyst, a veritable drop in the bucket compensation-wise. First talk to your contacts at the firm. See if they can tell you what happened.

Then I might talk to a lawyer. It might be stupid to go up against a bank legally, but you have real damages. You can actually quantify the money you lost (you quit your old job).

Jun 1, 2012

This is fucked up...
Can't you sue them?

Jun 1, 2012

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have just been through something very similar. All I can say is keep at it. I had a pity party for about a day then I started looking again. I have a few really good leads. You only fail if you quit. Anyways, I know it sucks screw them their loss. Now you can make this a good story when your next interviewer ask, "How have you delt with adversity?"

Jun 1, 2012
paulydreamer:

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have just been through something very similar. All I can say is keep at it. I had a pity party for about a day then I started looking again. I have a few really good leads. You only fail if you quit. Anyways, I know it sucks screw them their loss. Now you can make this a good story when your next interviewer ask, "How have you delt with adversity?"

agreed 100%. Keep going at it. This does make for a great story though. This is something that happens and as tough as it to start again, I would keep on networking and applying.

Jun 1, 2012

you might be able to sue for specific performance or damages. you took significant action toward the contract (an email may be sufficient to prove a contract existed) and now they have to hold up their end or pay for your damages. I know it doesn't sound like much, but maybe it can work out for you in the long run if you pursue it.

Look into promissory estoppel

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Jun 1, 2012

This guy is looking for a career on the Street. He so much as threatens legal action and he'll be right back in grad school doing his MD, JD or something different altogether. I don't think legal action is what he's looking to take.

OP, this shit sucks. Keep at it but definitely try to find out what happened if you know anyone on the inside. Something happened last minute and I doubt they meant to screw you this way but it's the way the cookie crumbles in business.

Jun 1, 2012

Lawsuit time, Yipeee. Let the American legal system take care of this. Hire a good lawyer. I am sure the bank will settle for a decent amount of cash. Banks do not like lawsuits as it brings a bad image. Just do it.

  • BeenPrepping
  •  Jun 1, 2012

if he sues an elite boutique, he will probably never work on Wall Street...

    • 1
Jun 1, 2012
BeenPrepping:

if he sues an elite boutique, he will probably never work on Wall Street...

Coming from the guy whose post history indicates he knows SOOOOO much about the industry. Amazing you know about the career ramifications of legal action but not when to update your resume, where people hang out, whether or not interns hang out with each other, what kind of dress pants you should buy, whether most associates have MBAs, what it means to say you "work on wall street", how good of a bank "BarCap" is (hint - there's no such thing), or whether or not you can wear brown shoes.

You.are.an.idiot. Never pretend you know anything about anything ever.

Jun 1, 2012
BeenPrepping:

if he sues an elite boutique, he will probably never work on Wall Street...

Why? How would future employers even know? I'd interview him. He should be publicly shaming this bank, if they really did this. Rescinding offers is complete BS as there is a significant opportunity cost in accepting an offer.

Jun 1, 2012
BeenPrepping:

if he sues an elite boutique, he will probably never work on Wall Street...

Clearly BeenPrepping's been prepping.

    • 1
Jun 1, 2012

Complete bullshit move on the firm's part for a variety of reason I wont even get into. Try to stay at your current (old) job and get a lawyer.

I would scorch the fucking Earth if something like this happened to me.

Jun 1, 2012

i think maybe something didn't check out so they rescind the offer...they shouldn't give you an offer knowing there's no headcount for more analyst

Reach out to the contacts for help and keep us updated

Jun 1, 2012
Ricqles:

i think maybe something didn't check out so they rescind the offer...they shouldn't give you an offer knowing there's no headcount for more analyst

This is a bullshit excuse. Any reason that they give is a complete bullshit excuse. Under no circumstances should they have extended an offer, only to say "oops, things are diferent now, sorry". They had their chance to do their due dilligence on this candidate before they extended the offer.

This indicates poor quality of the firm in question. They cant figure out their own analyst head count, do they even have their shit together?

I would post the firm's name on this site. Their reputaion should suffer.

Jun 1, 2012
RE Capital Markets:
Ricqles:

i think maybe something didn't check out so they rescind the offer...they shouldn't give you an offer knowing there's no headcount for more analyst

This is a bullshit excuse. Any reason that they give is a complete bullshit excuse. Under no circumstances should they have extended an offer, only to say "oops, things are diferent now, sorry". They had their chance to do their due dilligence on this candidate before they extended the offer.

This indicates poor quality of the firm in question. They cant figure out their own analyst head count, do they even have their shit together?

I would post the firm's name on this site. Their reputaion should suffer.

I would suggest OP to NOT do this. You still want a job on wall street, right?

The firm's reputation is not going to suffer, even if any bank does it, everyone will still drool over them.

Jun 1, 2012

That's awful man, sorry to hear it...

Jun 1, 2012

What firm did this?

Jun 1, 2012
UFOinsider:

What firm did this?

Jun 1, 2012
theBEEGEES:
UFOinsider:

What firm did this?

Jun 1, 2012

Pros/cons of starting a running list of firms/groups/MDs that do this?

Jun 1, 2012
UFOinsider:

Pros/cons of starting a running list of firms/groups/MDs that do this?

Besides potentially not getting a job in IB? No real ramifications whatsoever.

Scorch the fucking Earth.

Jun 1, 2012
RE Capital Markets:
UFOinsider:

Pros/cons of starting a running list of firms/groups/MDs that do this?

Besides potentially not getting a job in IB? No real ramifications whatsoever.

Scorch the fucking Earth.

Yes. Yes.

Jun 1, 2012

What's the name of the firm?

Jun 1, 2012

Wow, thanks guys for the support, I appreciate.

I developed a good relationship with the MD, but it seems it was not enough. He "pushed" (so did I on him, at least), but HRs ended up having the last word.

Had they broken any labor law, I would still not sue them. Yes, the world is big but I have a feeling that the impact on my reputation would be a lot worse than the compensation I might (with a 0.001% probability) get through legal action...

As to the firm, I'll keep the information private (but it's really easy to guess, as the industry group is fairly technical)...

That's frustrating, but I'll just suck it up and move on...

Jun 1, 2012

And to those who suggest that I'm not a top candidate... well they're right! I have a technical background that fits very well in cap. markets (hence the MSF), but is hard to sell in IB... that makes it even more frustrating

Jun 1, 2012

sorry man. thats fucked up. i'd be pissed.

Jun 1, 2012

I had asked this hypothetical to a lawyer friend of mine years ago and got an answer something along the lines of this:

If there is no other reason for you being "laid off," then what they did is illegal. You entered into an employment-at-will (I'm assuming) contract, which means they can fire you and/or you can resign at any time during your employment for essentially no reason (barring the obvious: discrimination, maternity, etc). However, you had not formally began as an employee of their firm. Thus they violated their side of the contract by not honoring your employment date. You should be entitled to whatever signing bonus they had offered you, and could probably sue for lost time at your other job in the amount of all the compensation you would have made at that job, plus whatever potential career advancement you missed out on by quitting. You could also sue your way into being hired, but I doubt that would be a good solution for either side.

This all, of course, is only the case if there are no special provisions in the offer letter that say they may let you go before your start date should they not have the resources to formally bring you in. I'm sure you've read through that offer letter a few times though if some bullshit like this ended up happening.

Disclaimer: I'm not sure if any of what I just said is true - I'm not a lawyer - but this is the gist of the conversation I had about this very topic a few years ago when it happened to a [potential] co-worker of mine at my former fund.

Jun 1, 2012

I've only seen this happen twice and both times it's because red flags popped up last minute. For one guy, one of his references said that he had a lousy work ethic and was hanging by a thread at his current/previous job which caused his offer to be pulled post-verbal. No one will ever sell out an honest reference so the bank is more likely to make up an excuse (eg headcount) than tell you why you're not there. Another guy had actually already started and was asked to leave after 1-2 days because it came out that the SEC was investigating him for front-running a deal.

While it may seem that having i's dotted and t's crossed is the end of the process, it's always prudent to be careful and hold on to your existing job for as long as reasonably possible. HR can be lazy and the background check process can drag on for a variety of reasons. Suing is a terrible option. Suck it up and start looking for new jobs.

Jun 1, 2012

If it really is an elite boutique (LAZ, EVR, GHL, Rothschild, etc), then that's just absolutely pathetic. You would think they have their shit together. Definitely not cool and, if I were you, I would do my best to find out if there is not some underlying reason that caused them to screw you over at the last minute. Reach out to any contacts and the firm and a lawyer wouldn't be a bad idea either especially if you have a family member who's one because they'd likely help you out for free.

Jun 1, 2012

Wow this is absolutely ridiculous. If their "headcount" was wrong, this is a truly incompetent boutique. This only happens legitimately if someone fails a background check or a previous employer disputes something. Definitely don't pursue legal action. It'll spread on Wall Street and that won't be good.

Don't back down. Get in touch with your contacts to see if they can do something. Obviously if that doesn't work out, try utilizing any other contacts you have to get something else. Your best hope would be if someone left last minute. HR really pulled a fast one on you here. Don't let them get away with this easy.

Jun 2, 2012

If what BlackHat's lawyer friend said is right, then you should sue them. That might actually scare them into hiring you assuming what they did is illegal. I won't pretend to be knowledgeable on this subject, but I doubt that the investment banking industry would blackball you because you truly were fucked over. What kind of future hiring manager will think "this guy's a quality candidate, we should hire him....wait a second, he sued a former employer for reneging on an internship contract 4 days before his start date after he had already turned down all his other offers? he's too risky we can't hire him"?

If you decide not to sue, then at the very least you should drop the firm name so as to punish their reputation and warn future job applicants. If they punish us for reneging on their offers, why can't we do the same to them?

Jun 2, 2012

I'm quite sure you wouldn't win a lawsuit, because firms can fire you at any time (unless you are someone that doesn't have an at-will contract, which is generally for CEO type people).

What the firm did was terrible, but would it be possible to try asking your contacts at the firm for help? Surely they understand it was a lousy move and would try to help (unless the firm had another reason for firing you that is more egregious than the firm's reason).

Jun 2, 2012

Like some people said, if this is an elite boutique I'm 90% sure something wrong came up in your bg check and you got fucked because of it. Since they gave you a BS excuse it was probably because they didn't wan't to out a reference or smth like that.
If the MD really liked you I'd openly ask him to help you get a job. An MD at a place like Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore or whatever should have an incredible network in the business. I'd email/phone him, explain the situation and ask him if he knows of any opportunities that would be a good fit for you.
As for the legal ramifications, I don't know how your contract was written (I'm sure you have a copy, so read it), but all the BB internship contracts have a clause that says either party can rescind the offer whenever with no prior warning and that the offer is conditional on you passing a bg check. So I'd say you'll have a hard time pursuing legal action...

Jun 2, 2012

Seems a little fishy....

On the subject of getting offers rescinded due to negatives from previous references, how can the bank know that it's not someone with an ax to grind? If you were able to get through the networking and interviewing process with the an offer in hand, I would think that would be enough to at least get you started.

I would continue to press HR and your contacts at the firm. Depending on what your group says, you may still have a shot. However ear, wasting your breath anymore with HR might be a waste of time.

Jun 2, 2012
FormerHornetDriver:

On the subject of getting offers rescinded due to negatives from previous references, how can the bank know that it's not someone with an ax to grind?

You do not list those people as references. Find somebody else at X company to vouch for you, or just supply them with HR's contact info. HR won't say anything beyond your title, dates of employment, and maybe salary.

Jun 2, 2012

Don't listen to half these people. Sueing them won't get you blacklisted from the industry at all. I mentioned this topic to my co-workers and they said if anything they would respect you more. Almost everyone would side with you on this. Take this seriously. The boutique will be extremely embarrassed on someone like this.

Find out if it was a problem with your background check. If it wasn't then seek legal advice.

Also if you could please list the firm that would be good. This is not because we want to laugh at it, but there is a chance it could save another poor soul from doing what you did. I know you said you didn't want to, but it would help someone out that was considering working for the firm.

Jun 2, 2012
ValueInvesting:

Also if you could please list the firm that would be good. This is not because we want to laugh at it, but there is a chance it could save another poor soul from doing what you did. I know you said you didn't want to, but it would help someone out that was considering working for the firm.

I agree. List the firm name so people can watch out for it. I'm going to be a junior next year and I surely wouldn't want to apply to that firm.

By the way, you should consider writing an OpEd to a newspaper. Write to NY Times or DealBreaker. I'm sure your story will capture big attention, especially because the economy stinks right now and people are scrambling for jobs.

Jun 2, 2012

If the facts of your situation are all as stated, you probably have a legal case against this employer since you have suffered economic harm. You may actually be able to get some settlement from this employer. I know there are repercussions from even threatening to sue an employer, but I would call the employer and hint that you may be considering legal action, and you may be surprised of getting a quick settlement that may help you met expenses as you look for another job.

Another approach would be for the hiring manager to be helpful in providing contacts or solid leads, it's seriously the least they can do.

Sorry to hear that this is still going on.

Jun 2, 2012
ecuaman:

If the facts of your situation are all as stated, you probably have a legal case against this employer since you have suffered economic harm. You may actually be able to get some settlement from this employer. I know there are repercussions from even threatening to sue an employer, but I would call the employer and hint that you may be considering legal action, and you may be surprised of getting a quick settlement that may help you met expenses as you look for another job.

Another approach would be for the hiring manager to be helpful in providing contacts or solid leads, it's seriously the least they can do.

Sorry to hear that this is still going on.

Please listen to this

Jun 2, 2012
BlackHat:
ecuaman:

If the facts of your situation are all as stated, you probably have a legal case against this employer since you have suffered economic harm. You may actually be able to get some settlement from this employer. I know there are repercussions from even threatening to sue an employer, but I would call the employer and hint that you may be considering legal action, and you may be surprised of getting a quick settlement that may help you met expenses as you look for another job.

Another approach would be for the hiring manager to be helpful in providing contacts or solid leads, it's seriously the least they can do.

Sorry to hear that this is still going on.

Please listen to this

Agreed. Protect yourself. Its not like there is a list of people who bring legitimate law suits on banks to ensure they never work in finance again.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jun 4, 2012
BlackHat:
ecuaman:

If the facts of your situation are all as stated, you probably have a legal case against this employer since you have suffered economic harm. You may actually be able to get some settlement from this employer. I know there are repercussions from even threatening to sue an employer, but I would call the employer and hint that you may be considering legal action, and you may be surprised of getting a quick settlement that may help you met expenses as you look for another job.

Another approach would be for the hiring manager to be helpful in providing contacts or solid leads, it's seriously the least they can do.

Sorry to hear that this is still going on.

Please listen to this

Ditto. This is what I would do.

Jun 2, 2012

I really doubt you have any sort of legal case. Employment is "at will" in this business and you can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason at all (unless its against a federal discrimination law). Although it is a dick move by them, I dont see why it would be illegal. You dont owe somebody money just because you caused them harm...everyone who has ever been fired has been caused harm. I dont think you would be "black-balled" from the industry or anything like that I just think it would be a waste of time and money.

I would however try to get more feedback on what happened.

Jun 2, 2012
Bondarb:

I really doubt you have any sort of legal case. Employment is "at will" in this business and you can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason at all (unless its against a federal discrimination law). Although it is a dick move by them, I dont see why it would be illegal. You dont owe somebody money just because you caused them harm...everyone who has ever been fired has been caused harm. I dont think you would be "black-balled" from the industry or anything like that I just think it would be a waste of time and money.

I would however try to get more feedback on what happened.

The economic harm in this specific case is that the individual resigned from his job in order to take a new job that s/he had a reasonable expectation of having after having received an offer letter. The specifics of bringing a legal case is of course complicated because it depends on all of the facts, but I think that the the employer will probably agree to just provide a settlement and put this behind them. Again, I would carefully consider alternatives and if the employer would be helpful in providing solid leads, I would take that instead, but if they are just completely unreasonable and throwing you under the bus, I would not just accept the situation.

I had a friend in 2009 in a similar situation when this was rampant in management consulting and he received a few months pay, which ended up being crucial because it took much longer than expected to find a new job after having quit one.

Jun 2, 2012

Wow... that was a dick move... sounds like that firm or team is in trouble. I've only seen this happen once in my career and it was just as the firm started to implode.

The guy had left a lucrative job at a BB to go to a PE firm. He even moved out of his house (changing cities), only to have his offer rescinded. Within 8 weeks even their MD was out of a job.

The Analyst/Associate who had his offer rescinded ended up taking a lucrative job in industry.

Try to keep a cool head and think rationally. Weigh your options.

Jun 2, 2012

Sucks im sorry man, Idk if this would work, but did you try negotiating? Offering yourself with a smaller starting salary or intern position until they have room for a FT?

Jun 2, 2012

JDOasis anyone?

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Jun 3, 2012

Nonos, good to see you wouldn't sue.

To everyone else, from the limited info here, in an unqualified non-legal opinion, I'd gander there's not much hope of a legal action being successful if the potential employee hadn't signed the contract, IE accepted the offer. I don't know American law, and can't give you advice, so if it means that much, go seek legal advice. But here's my take on things to consider:

If the future employee did accept the offer, there could be a very slim chance under promissory estopple, or breach of contract, if there were certain representations made to the future employee, which would need to be proved, but as someone said earlier, employment is generally "at will."

If the boutique have a decent lawyer in drafting, the terms of the offer and contract will be subject to them being able to be rescission or termination at any time within a probation period.

Even if he could bring an action, and then prove "damages," to get anything more than a nominal amount, bringing an action is expensive, onerous and time-consuming, a judgement might not be handed down for years, and then can be appealed and there's the risk of you only being a search on Lexis-Nexis or Westlaw away, successful or not. Non-successful, your credibility could be shot if the judge comments on you as a witness or plaintiff. I wouldn't personally being pursuing legal action on my own, particularly if they are an elite boutique. They have said it's not due to them not having the headcount, which at face value makes it doubtful that it's a discrimination issue or anything too easily litigated against.

They have a lot more "legal bargaining power" than most future employees do, but they also have better networks. The suggestions about asking them for leads, or if they can inform you if anything else opens up, and not burning your bridges seem sound. Can you imagine if the MD went to bat for you, HR says no, and then you bring legal action? The MD probably won't be so understanding, and there's a bridge burnt.

Use the situation to get information, and try again next time. Go speak to your current workplace, and explain the situation, and speak to the place you had the offer from also, and see whether anyone can help you out, if they know anyone who's hiring.

Good luck.

Jun 3, 2012
Aimez:

Nonos, good to see you wouldn't sue.

To everyone else, from the limited info here, in an unqualified non-legal opinion, I'd gander there's not much hope of a legal action being successful if the potential employee hadn't signed the contract, IE accepted the offer. I don't know American law, and can't give you advice, so if it means that much, go seek legal advice. But here's my take on things to consider:

If the future employee did accept the offer, there could be a very slim chance under promissory estopple, or breach of contract, if there were certain representations made to the future employee, which would need to be proved, but as someone said earlier, employment is generally "at will."

If the boutique have a decent lawyer in drafting, the terms of the offer and contract will be subject to them being able to be rescission or termination at any time within a probation period.

Even if he could bring an action, and then prove "damages," to get anything more than a nominal amount, bringing an action is expensive, onerous and time-consuming, a judgement might not be handed down for years, and then can be appealed and there's the risk of you only being a search on Lexis-Nexis or Westlaw away, successful or not. Non-successful, your credibility could be shot if the judge comments on you as a witness or plaintiff. I wouldn't personally being pursuing legal action on my own, particularly if they are an elite boutique. They have said it's not due to them not having the headcount, which at face value makes it doubtful that it's a discrimination issue or anything too easily litigated against.

They have a lot more "legal bargaining power" than most future employees do, but they also have better networks. The suggestions about asking them for leads, or if they can inform you if anything else opens up, and not burning your bridges seem sound. Can you imagine if the MD went to bat for you, HR says no, and then you bring legal action? The MD probably won't be so understanding, and there's a bridge burnt.

Use the situation to get information, and try again next time. Go speak to your current workplace, and explain the situation, and speak to the place you had the offer from also, and see whether anyone can help you out, if they know anyone who's hiring.

Good luck.

Umm not really. You are right they might have drafted a document that he signed that protects the company. However, I interned for a major corporate law firm. Many lawsuits were not the fault of the defendant, but they chose to settle to risk harming their reputation. You'd be surprised how valuable reputation is especially in an industry like banking. Nonos, take legal action or at least do the courtesy of giving us the name because I think you can save someone else from applying there.

Jun 4, 2012
Aimez:

I'd gander there's not much hope of a legal action being successful if the potential employee hadn't signed the contract, IE accepted the offer.

If the future employee did accept the offer, there could be a very slim chance under promissory estopple, or breach of contract, if there were certain representations made to the future employee, which would need to be proved, but as someone said earlier, employment is generally "at will."

Employee did sign contract, contract must have been executed (both parties signed). OP was dumped 3 days before his start date, so there was a set start date that was agreed upon by both parties.

Again, to be clear - even though employment may be "at-will", the employer needs a to have reason to terminate an employee. Employer's excuse was "We don't have headcount". Absolute bullshit excuse bc employer had their chance to do their due-dilligence on head-count prior to sending OP an offer letter.

Aimez:

If the boutique have a decent lawyer in drafting, the terms of the offer and contract will be subject to them being able to be rescission or termination at any time within a probation period.

If the employer had done their due-dilligence, this would be unnecessary. "Probation period" starts when the employer meets potential candidate and ends when the offer letter is sent to candidate. At least that's how companies should hire.

Aimez:

The suggestions about asking them for leads, or if they can inform you if anything else opens up, and not burning your bridges seem sound. Can you imagine if the MD went to bat for you, HR says no, and then you bring legal action? The MD probably won't be so understanding, and there's a bridge burnt.

Again - HR doesnt have the last say (and had their chance but didnt use it in a timely fashion, in this case). This is how hiring typically works - management (MD) says they need more employees, accounting and HR pow wow to see if this is financially feasible and say "yay" or "nay" to the expansion; then HR gets to work on sourcing candidates.

Because of how far in the process OP got, that leads me to believe that the entire HR process came full circle, and last minute somebody at the firm said "oops, we actually fucked up, sorry". Where I work, somebody in HR/accounting would be terminated for this. As I said before, the fuck up is on the firm's part, not the OP's, and OP will suffer hard.

The MD that supposedly went to bat for OP couldnt even be bothered to call or email OP and be more specific about what happened. Shady shit, IMO. They're the ones burning bridges, not OP.

You guys are too lenient of this type of stupidity.

    • 1
Jun 4, 2012
RE Capital Markets:

You guys are too lenient of this type of stupidity.

...subservient sheep and money whores

Jun 6, 2012

Stopped reading after you misspelled estoppel.

Also a verbal contract is just as binding as a written one, just harder to prove. If there are any email communications/letters/phone calls that op can provide, the contract CAN be one of implication (see: implied contract). You do NOT have to have a written document except as required by statute of frauds (mortgage, marriage, will, other specific legal documents).

All you need are the basic elements; offer, acceptance and consideration. Yes the contract must be legal (not a murder contract, sell your baby, etc) and the parties need to be competent (not retarded, of legal age) but if what the op said was true, I think this would be a rather easy case.

Even if they had boiler plate language saying we can rescind at any time, the judge may throw this out as op had to take substantial steps to fulfill his side of the bargain (sell stuff, move, reject other options, etc) and 3 days would also likely not be sufficient notice. This is, of course, IF they have that provision.

The hard part will be determining the damages and legal remedy...how to quantify this as requiring specific performance will mean he/she works for a company that is now pissed off at him.

Aimez:

Nonos, good to see you wouldn't sue.

To everyone else, from the limited info here, in an unqualified non-legal opinion, I'd gander there's not much hope of a legal action being successful if the potential employee hadn't signed the contract, IE accepted the offer. I don't know American law, and can't give you advice, so if it means that much, go seek legal advice. But here's my take on things to consider:

If the future employee did accept the offer, there could be a very slim chance under promissory estopple, or breach of contract, if there were certain representations made to the future employee, which would need to be proved, but as someone said earlier, employment is generally "at will."

If the boutique have a decent lawyer in drafting, the terms of the offer and contract will be subject to them being able to be rescission or termination at any time within a probation period.

Even if he could bring an action, and then prove "damages," to get anything more than a nominal amount, bringing an action is expensive, onerous and time-consuming, a judgement might not be handed down for years, and then can be appealed and there's the risk of you only being a search on Lexis-Nexis or Westlaw away, successful or not. Non-successful, your credibility could be shot if the judge comments on you as a witness or plaintiff. I wouldn't personally being pursuing legal action on my own, particularly if they are an elite boutique. They have said it's not due to them not having the headcount, which at face value makes it doubtful that it's a discrimination issue or anything too easily litigated against.

They have a lot more "legal bargaining power" than most future employees do, but they also have better networks. The suggestions about asking them for leads, or if they can inform you if anything else opens up, and not burning your bridges seem sound. Can you imagine if the MD went to bat for you, HR says no, and then you bring legal action? The MD probably won't be so understanding, and there's a bridge burnt.

Use the situation to get information, and try again next time. Go speak to your current workplace, and explain the situation, and speak to the place you had the offer from also, and see whether anyone can help you out, if they know anyone who's hiring.

Good luck.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Jun 3, 2012

I reckon you might be able to sue for promissory estoppel if there was nothing wrong with your background check. Hoffman v Red Owl Stores Inc is a case that outlines what it is.

Additional info:
http://www.lawnix.com/cases/promissory-estoppel.html
Good luck sir.

Jun 6, 2012
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Jun 5, 2012
Jun 9, 2012