Imagine moving all the way across the country for an exciting new job. The packing, traveling, unpacking, and getting accustomed to the new surroundings is a fun adventure. Not so fun is when the new employee receives an email informing him or her that, although the company did in fact send an official offer letter that the person promptly signed and returned prior to moving, the employer has changed its mind and revoked the proposal.
Can companies really rescind an offer that has been signed, sealed, and delivered, and is it legal? What recourse do people have if they spend all the time, money, and effort in moving to another town only to discover they no longer have a new job to pay off their relocation expenses? Unfortunately, this does happen – and here’s what can be done about it.
- 1 Why Do Employers Revoke a Job Offer
- 2 Is it Legal for an Employer to Revoke a Job Offer
- 3 What Can an Employee Do if the Job Offer is Revoked
- 4 How to Practice for the Next Job Interview
- 5 Loved Ones Can Act as Job Interviewers
- 6 Informational Interview as Job Interview Practice
- 7 Local Community Services Offer Job Interview Workshops
- 8 Practice Job Interviews Online at Better Talking
Why Do Employers Revoke a Job Offer
An employment offer can be rescinded for any number of reasons. Perhaps the employer decides not to hire for the position, or determines they can hire from within at the last minute.
Often times, pulling out of a job offer is due to a negative response on a test such as a psychological exam, urinalysis, or polygraph. For example, the person has used drugs or viewed pornography on the job in the past six months. Other times the discovery of a criminal record, minor as it may be, can be cause for employment contract revocation.
Is it Legal for an Employer to Revoke a Job Offer
Regardless of any hardship posed to the employee with respect to the acceptance of the employment letter, it is within a company’s rights to rescind the offer and not even provide a reason. While this may sound unfair, it is perfectly legal, thanks to state at-will employment laws, which essentially permit companies to let employees go at any time, for any reason whatsoever, or no reason at all.
“Many people are employed ‘at will,’ meaning that they don’t have a formal employment contract with their employer and state law thus permits their employment to be ended at any time, or that they do have a written contract under which contains an ‘at will’ clause…” says attorney Aaron Larson in the September, 2003 ExpertLaw article, “Wrongful Termination of At Will Employment.”
The verbal offer is the easiest for the company to rescind; hence the reason candidates should always request a written letter stating salary, start date, and other important contractual information. Yet at the same time, employers are fully aware of employment law and thus protect themselves with the standard at-will clause whether the employment proposal is verbal or written.
However, there are instances where it is not within the employer’s legal rights to let an employee go. These exceptions include anti-discrimination laws, whistleblower protections, public policy exclusions, and procedural/contractual protections. For example, it is illegal to fire someone based on race, if they expose company wrongdoing, if they file for worker’s compensation, or if the employer fails to follow guidelines for disciplinary action before letting them go.
What Can an Employee Do if the Job Offer is Revoked
Unfortunately, there isn’t much recourse for those who signed, sealed, and delivered offer letters are suddenly revoked without explanation. Because of at-will employment laws, companies can terminate the contract for any reason at any time, and without a stated reason. However, if the termination is found to be in violation of civil rights, whistleblower, public policy, or contractual laws, the person may have a case for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Before accepting a new position, candidates should always get the letter in writing. Particularly if relocating, the person should ask about the chances the offer will be rescinded and what action the company takes should this occur. If the employer has offered financial incentives such as relocation expenses and/or a bonus, the individual should ask what would happen to them. Covering all bases ensures that if the worst happens, the person is covered.
How to Practice for the Next Job Interview
Interviewing for a job is all about first impressions. Not just with the clothing job seekers wear, but with how they carry themselves, their mannerisms and body language, their interactions with the people they meet and how well they handle face-to-face job interviews.
That’s why experts repeatedly tell job seekers that they need to practice before going to job interviews. That means taking advantage of one (or more) of the many options to participate in the job interview process.
Loved Ones Can Act as Job Interviewers
Sitting down with a friend or family member and role playing in order to really get a sense of what types of questions might be asked and how to best answer them is probably one of the easiest ways to practice for the next interview. And with all the online resources that offer practice interview questions, it should be easy for a loved one to find a whole list of potential questions that a recruiter or hiring manager might asked.
Just be sure to find someone who will take the practice seriously and can offer proper feedback. That includes setting aside sufficient time, finding a quiet space and selecting a list of ten or so interview questions in advance from a reliable source such as QuintCareers.com or Careerbuilder.com.
Informational Interview as Job Interview Practice
Not only are informational interviews a great networking tool, they can offer job seekers the opportunity to practice their interview techniques. Yes, the general purpose of an informational interview is to provide the job seeker an opportunity to connect with someone in the career or industry they would like to have.
However, being in an interview situation should always be looked upon as an opportunity to learn. That includes learning how to behave professionally and how to answer questions fluidly.
Local Community Services Offer Job Interview Workshops
For a great opportunity to really get hands on experience in the job interview process, check out local community service organizations or local colleges for job hunt workshops. Some may charge a fee, but it can be worth it.
Current college students should avail themselves of their campus career center for a full-range of job hunting tools. Non-students might want to start a search for community-based services by going to the online yellow pages and searching under “employment training.” Plus check with the state employment development department for guidance.
Practice Job Interviews Online at Better Talking
For those who want an added bonus or just like hearing themselves talk, check out Better Talking where a pre-recorded voice will handle the interview. It’s easy to do. Just sign up and get a PIN. Then call a toll-free number and answer a series of typical interview questions. That’s it!
Once the interview is over, Better Talking sends job seekers an email with a link so they can listen to how well they did. Job seekers can even share the information via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get feedback from friends and family. It’s just one more tool to help job seekers improve their job interviewing skills.
No matter what method or methods job seekers use to practice for their next job interview – loved ones, informational interview, interview workshop or online – it is important to take the time and practice, practice, practice. Because everyone knows that practice makes perfect.