Laverne and Shirley had been best friends for a number of years, even though Shirley had moved out to California with her husband. The ladies kept in touch. Shirley had acquired a good job with a computer company, and Laverne had worked her way up to upper management with the Widget International Company stationed in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Somewhat out of the blue, Laverne contacted Shirley and offered Shirley an executive position, making substantially more money than Shirley was making with her high-tech company. Both Shirley and her husband were from Northeastern Pennsylvania, and they missed the area and often expressed the desire to return if it would become economically feasible.
Shirley and her husband decided to take Laverne up on the offer and made arrangements to sell their home in California and give notice to each of their respective employers that they were leaving for Pennsylvania.
When Shirley returned to Pennsylvania with her husband and children, she had some bad news waiting for her. Laverne advised Shirley that because of recent economic problems, Widget International Company would not be able to offer her an executive position and, in fact, had no job for her. Laverne was apologetic and realized that Shirley and her husband had given up their jobs and their home and moved across country on reliance of Laverne\’s promise of employment.
Issues: What are Shirley\’s rights?
Answer: Shirley will have a right to bring a lawsuit against Widget International. Laverne, in her capacity as management, made an offer of employment at a substantially higher wage than Shirley was making while in California. Shirley will be able to sue for her loss of present and future anticipated income and possibly even her moving expenses. Fortunately for Shirley, her husband was able to find a job immediately at wages equal to his California wages, so his loss of income would not be part of the lawsuit.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.