My current situation is as follows:

I have received an offer from a small firm. I have verbally accepted the offer and I should be starting in a few weeks. The terms of my employment are at-will employee with initial probationary period. After the probationary period I am to become a full-time, at-will employee. The employer is eager for me to start.

During this two week period before starting work, I am still interviewing and trying to obtain additional offers. The offer I currently have is lacking in several respects (salary, etc) and so I am trying to get better offers. My question is as follows:

May I accept another offer of employment and notify my employer before even starting the probationary period that I will not be working there anymore? How does this fare in the job market? If this current employer is upset, will it be justified?

EDIT: This question is different from "What to do? I have one interview for a great company, another one called me today! " because I have verbally accepted the offer, and I am trying to figure out how the at-will status affects this situation. In the other question had no concern for at-will status as the user had not accepted the offer yet.

  • I have edited to explain why workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/59346/… is different from my question
    – user32882
    Jan 6, 2016 at 18:24
  • @JoeStrazzere, I would not like this to be done to me, however what of the "at-will" situation.... Does the agreement not involve thiss kind of liberty, that I can leave the job at any time for any reason?
    – user32882
    Jan 6, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    @user32882 If the employer contacted you before your start date, and said "We have found another person who will do the job for less money, so we are cancelling our offer" it would be permitted by the at-will nature of the job, but you might not be happy about it. Jan 6, 2016 at 18:40
  • 1
    Let's say you have your current job offer, which you accepted verbally, and you get another job offer for an equivalent job with 20% more pay. If you cancel the first job offer, the employer won't have you working for him, which makes him sad. If you don't cancel the first job offer and work for 20% less than you could get, that makes you sad. It's better for you if you make that employer sad than making yourself sad.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 6, 2016 at 22:00
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    And as @JoeStrazzere said, of course that employer will be upset, and justified so, but that's their problem, not yours. If I try selling you a car for twice what it's worth and you are ready to buy it and then a friend tells you that the car is not worth it, of course I will be upset with your friend and justified so - but you would be stupid to pay over the odds so that I'm not upset.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 6, 2016 at 22:04


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