Laid off 5 days before starting date after relocation to CA

I declined two other offers after I accepted the offer from a California company. They agreeed to pay for my relocation after I start working. I shipped my car and furniture from TX to CA, bought a plane ticket and came to CA. And I paid for the penalty for breaking my apartment lease in TX. This past Monday I informed the company that I'll start next Monday, and they seemed ok with it. And on Wedneday their HR people called me, telling me my position was eliminated and I can't go to work on Monday.

Can I force the company to reimburse me for my relocation loss? What are my options?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

3 answers  |  asked Jul 19, 2001 12:13 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (3)

Janet M. Koehn
this is illegal

yes, i agree with the others that this is probably illegal. if you are in southern california, please call me for a consultation, and tell the receptionist you are referred from "ask mel".
janet koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Jul 19, 2001 7:57 PM [EST]
Gay Carroll-Haring
You have a strong case!

You may have a strong case against this employer for a multitude of causes of action. California courts have recognized that reliance damages may be awarded in wrongful termination actions, such as yours, where the employee has taken reasonable detrimental steps in reliance on the existence of an employment agreement--such as yourself. These damages include out-of-pocket expenses that you lost as a result of reliance on the contract (i.e., the offer and acceptance of employment). For example, because of the employer's assurances, you moved a substantial distance at significant expense to begin employment. Your reliance damages may be based on both contract and a promissory estoppel analysis. In addition, after reviewing the facts, it could be that you also have a fraud claim against this employer if they made false representations to you regarding this new job. If you are successful in your suit against this employer , you may recover for all detriment proximately caused by this employer's fraudulent inducement of this employment contract, as well as any exemplary damages (punitives). It is also a California Labor Code violation to induce an employee to move for the purpose of working. On top of all of this, it is a violation of public policy to fraudulently induce an employee to move for working purposes in this state. The possibility exists for you to get punitives from this employer, but only the facts will reveal this.

If you would like to discuss this further, I would be more than happy to speak with you. I can be contacted at 916-443-3553 or via email at

posted by Gay Carroll-Haring  |  Jul 19, 2001 2:30 PM [EST]
Abraham Goldman
Relocation Layoff

It's a classic rip-off.

There are many cases on the books about this type of matter. While they are not always a slam dunk, the gut reaction is this is terribly wrong. And there is a lot of legal support for that.

California in particular has some very good laws in this area for the employee. There is a law that specifically makes it illegal to make someone relocate on a false promise.

Give me a call or email; I have 24 years experience in this area & would be happy to give you a free consultation & send you by email my current practice resume.

Abraham Goldman
800 945 9446

posted by Abraham Goldman  |  Jul 19, 2001 1:10 PM [EST]

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