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Hiring? Don’t make promises you can’t keep

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring

Here’s a new worry for employers: If you have a supervisor who makes hiring promises to an applicant that he knows the company can’t keep, the applicant may be able to sue for fraud.

Recent case: David Paine worked for a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Nebraska that failed. He contacted corporate headquarters to see if there were any other openings. The manager he spoke with said that if Paine could take an order in Spanish, he could become an assistant manager in a store in Miami. Paine took the offer and moved. Once there, he was relegated to delivery duties. When he complained, his hours were cut back drastically. Paine sued, alleging race discrimination and fraud.

He argued that under Florida law, an employer that makes a promise to an applicant knowing that promise will not be honored commits fraud. The judge said the case could go to trial. (Paine v. Domino’s, No. 10-23158, SD FL, 2011)

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