Breech of Oral Contract

Recently, I applied for a change of position within my current employer. At the interview, I was told that there were individuals that were more qualified than I was, but that if I transfered into their department in my current capacity, that I would be cross-trained into the new position eventually. I was cross-trained and worked a couple of shifts before my supervisor's boss informed me that I wasn't qualified and that I could not work in the new position. Is this a breech of an oral contract?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 16, 2002 5:14 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
Oral contract not enforceable

There are several reasons why this "oral contract" isn't enforceable. First, a promise to be cross-trained into the position "eventually" is probably too vague to constitute an enforceable contract. More importantly, such a promise would, by implication, require that you perform adequately in the position, which your employer apparently feels you did not, unless the reason you were "not qualified" has to do with something else.
Most importantly, you are probably an "at will" employee, unless you have a written contract that says otherwise. Arizona has a statute that specifically requires that any contract that purports to alter the "at will" nature of your employment be in writing. Since your contract was oral, it cannot alter your "at will" employment status. Thus, your employer does not need a reason to fire you, and therefore does not need a reason to remove you from the position you sought. Sorry to give you the bad news.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Feb 18, 2002 3:34 PM [EST]

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