Court of Appeals case reinforces value of written job offers

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in Compensation and Benefits,Hiring,Human Resources

by Thomas G. Eron, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Syracuse

A recent decision by New York’s highest court highlights the value of spelling out the terms of employment in a written offer letter.

In Ryan v. Kellogg Partners Insti­tu­tional Services (No. 37, NY Court of Appeals, 2012), the New York Court of Appeals upheld an award of $380,000 for an unpaid wage claim and attorneys’ fees, principally because the jury believed the plaintiff’s testimony that he was promised a $175,000 bonus by the defendant’s managing partner. That was despite the managing partner’s testimony that he made no such promise.

Neither Kellogg Partners’ ­employment-at-will policy and disclaimers, nor the Statute of Frauds provided a defense to the claim.

A properly drafted employment offer letter, which was missing here, would have made all the difference in the result.

A binding promise?

Daniel Ryan testified that he was recruited to work as the ch...(register to read more)

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