Employment Law?

Is it legal to change job title and job description significantly between the time the job is accepted and the time the job is started without informing the candidate and giving the option of accepting or declining the revamped position?

Advertising Job A, presenting Job A, luring away and hiring for Job A and then assigning Job F is, best case, completely unprofessional. Does anyone know the legality of it?

I can’t just quit because of the relocation package I will then be responsible for repaying! I know this may vary from State to State but any information or direction will be greatly appreciated.

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4 Responses to “Employment Law?”

  1. ChinHoYang Says:

    The first case I ever tried involved the same scenario. Plaintiff was an overseas worker who would worked for a steel company. He would work six months in Saudi Arabia, the be off for six months. He returned from an overseas assignment and the company laid him off — but they didn’t tell him. During his six months off, he turned down two job offers.
    At the end of his off period, he was finally informed that he had been laid off.

    We sued under a theory called promissory estoppel. The employer made a representation which the employee relied on, to his damages. We won and the judgment was upheld on appeal. It was a Texas case.

    In your case, the new employer lured you away from one job based upon promises that were not true. You were damaged by your justifiable reliance on their promise. Does this mean that you will win a case against the employer? Probably not. The employment at will doctrine doesn’t technically apply to this scenario, but you have to have a good lawyer to demonstrate that to the court.

    I cannot imagine any court finding you liable for repaying the relocation package. You accept that package based upon their representations that you were going to have Job A. Unless they had some language somewhere advising you that they could change the job assignment at will, then I would think you’d have a defense for the relocation expenses.

    Interestingly, you have a better chance of winning on either claim if they made the change to Job F before you commenced work. If they did it a few months after you started work, you probably will be defeated.

  2. davidb196 Says:

    You would need to contact the state employment office where the company is located.

    My partner was offered a job for 75K. They interviewed him he did the entrance exam, they offered him the job but for 20K less then the agreed upon 75K. We wrote to the state employment office and that was legal.. If they had done it after he accepted the job then they would have problems.

  3. Mel Says:

    Actually, if you relocated to take Job A, you may have a case. Because you were, as you state, "lured" from a stable position and asked to relocate for a new opportunity, the company does have an obligation to place you in that opportunity (at least for a while.)

    Employment laws vary widely from state to state, with some states being more "employee friendly" than others, so the best bet is to find a local employment law attorney who can assess your individual situation. Good luck.

  4. mj69catz Says:

    Generally, to get a relocation package, you need to sign an agreement. You may want to look at that agreement and see if it indicates the position.

    Also, make sure that, if possible, you dig up the original job information you were given (i.e. the ad or whatever) and see what it indicates.

    At the least this is unethical, but either way your best bet is to contact an employment lawyer in your new location. To find one, I would post your information at http://www.findlaw.com