I received an offer letter for a job with a significant salary. It seemed like a great offer for the type of employment and to be sure, I confirmed the amount verbally with the HR director and he confirmed that this amount was correct. A second offer letter was received with a negotiated start date and the identical salary amount.

On the start date I received an apologetic call from the HR Director informing me that he was so very sorry but there had been an error and the salary was to be approximately half of the amount reflected in the signed offer. I was in shock and negotiated for a compromise. The amount they were willing to raise the offer increased but was still $28,000 less than the signed offer. I left my prior employment on the basis of their offer so I'm now unemployed. Should I take the compromise or pursue a legal remedy?

closed as off-topic by Justin Cave, user52889, HorusKol, Joe Strazzere, Monica Cellio Jan 12 '16 at 3:42

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  • 7
    I'd take the offer if your salary is more than your unemployment benefits and keep looking. – Amy Blankenship Jan 11 '16 at 21:41
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    The question you have to ask yourself is this: Would you have taken the job if they had offered the lower, unrevised salary? If your answer to that question is "Yes", then their original screwup appears to have netted you a bonus. If your answer is "No", then your best course at this point would appear to be to take the job, do NOT make any commitments that would tie you to them, and start/continue looking for something better. – John R. Strohm Jan 11 '16 at 21:44
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    Oh, and you probably want to have a nice long chat with the HR director, along the lines of "How the BLEEP did you clowns manage to screw up something as basic as a starting salary in an offer?" Take copies of BOTH of the offer letters to that meeting. – John R. Strohm Jan 11 '16 at 21:46
  • 3
    Please clarify country and if there is a signed employment contract. – Myles Jan 11 '16 at 21:56
  • 4
    Take the job. Show up for work. Only do half of it. – eggmatters Jan 12 '16 at 0:28

I would take the offer, and begin looking for another job. Reneging on an agreed upon salary day of employment very fishy, but usually not illegal in the US. This could be a bait-and-switch used by the company to get people at lower salaries.

You could talk to a lawyer about it if you'd like, but any court case will take months or years to resolve. Especially if its illegal, this will put a cross-hair on your back, and I would highly recommend having another job lined up before taking legal action.

Once you find your next job, ask around at your current place of work and see if there are others this happened to. If you start hearing the same story it's probably worth talking to an lawyer about it.

  • 1
    Agree with @JoeStrazzere: without a contract, a US employer is free to unilaterally change the terms of employment at any time, including redefining job descriptions and changing pay. They just can't change someone's pay retroactively. I'd call it immoral but it's perfectly legal. – Lilienthal Jan 12 '16 at 12:09
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    Edited based on comments. I'm pretty sure he/she would at least have a civil suit if they could find others at the company that had the same thing happen to them. FYI I'm NOT a lawyer. – sevensevens Jan 12 '16 at 14:57

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