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Don’t jump the gun on job offers; control who promises what

by on
in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Based on an oral offer from a hospital's interim CEO, James Greisi accepted a job as a physical therapy manager. A few days later, Greisi received a written offer outlining the terms and a specific starting date. He accepted the offer and turned down other potential employers.

The problem: The director of operations, vice president of human resources and a supervisor in the physical therapy department knew nothing about the plans to hire Greisi. Those three had to approve new hires. Greisi was left without a job. He sued for negligent misrepresentation.

A lower court threw out the claim, but the Maryland Court of Appeals reinstated it. The court said a prospective employee has a big interest in obtaining accurate information from employers. Plus, companies should realize that negligently reversing a job offer could cause economic harm to a job candidate. (Greisi v. Atlantic General Hospital Corp., No. 128 September 1999 term, Md. Ct. App, 2000)

Advice: Reversing a job offer could cost you more than a little embarrassment, it could put you on the wrong end of a negligent misrepresentation suit.

Bottom line: Never make any promises of future employment, salary or conditions until a final decision has been made and confirmed by all the necessary hiring personnel.

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