Best Ohio Employment Attorney Answer: I left my former job because my new boss promised me better hours and better work, but he didn’t live up to his promises – can I sue him? Can I sue my company for not keeping promises that it made when I was hired? Is it fraud if my boss misrepresented the job he gave me?
Our employment law lawyers often deal with wrongful termination claims, but what about wrongful hiring? Today I got a heartbreaking call from a potential client. She is a single mom that was lured away from a good job by a promise of better hours and better pay. She was hesitant to give up her position, and told her potential new employer as much. She’d been at one company for almost ten years, and in that amount of time had built up a lot of good will and had formed many friendships. But after a series of interviews – and a long list of promises – she took the new job.
Almost immediately she realized it was a mistake. Her new employer did not hold up his end of the deal. It ends up that he really just needed someone to work for him while one of his employees was out on maternity leave. Once she returned from maternity leave, he had no use for my potential client. So he demoted her into a part-time position with no benefits. She can’t survive on what she is getting paid now, and she can’t provide for her children either. She was pretty desperate, and was really hoping that I could help.
If you are lured into a job – like this potential client – and if you give up your job in order to accept the new one, you do not have an employment law claim. At best, you have a claim for fraudulent inducement. To succeed, you will have to prove that your new employer intentionally misrepresented the job to you; that is, you will have to prove that your new employer never intended to live up to the promises he made. Your fraud claim is a common law claim, not an employment law claims. And your chances of succeeding may not be very good, particularly if the promises are not documented in writing.
But there might be some relief on the horizon. In California, it is now illegal for employers to solicit employees through misrepresentation. The California Labor Code provides:
970. No person or agent or officer thereof, directly or indirectly, shall influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this State or from any place outside to any place within the State, or from any place within the State to any place outside, for the purpose of working in any branch of labor, through or by means of knowingly false representations, whether spoken, written, or advertised in printed form, concerning either: (a) The kind, character, or existence of such work; (b) The length of time such work will last, or the compensation therefore; (c) The sanitary or housing conditions relating to or surrounding the work; (d) The existence or nonexistence of any strike, lockout, or other labor dispute affecting it and pending between the proposed employer and the persons then or last engaged in the performance of the labor for which the employee is sought.
971. Any person, or agent or officer thereof, who violates Section 970 is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
972. In addition to such criminal penalty, any person, or agent or officer thereof who violates any provision of Section 970 is liable to the party aggrieved, in a civil action, for double damages resulting from such misrepresentations. Such civil action may be brought by an aggrieved person or his assigns or successors in interest, without first establishing any criminal liability.
This means that in California, employees that are lured away from their jobs by intentionally false misrepresentations now have a statutory cause of action against their new employer.
For the time being, Ohio does not have a similar law.
It would make sense for other states to follow suit, and to offer employees protection beyond that provided by common law fraud suits.
Do you have a question about fraudulent inducement? If so, the best course of action is to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At the Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with an employment lawyer who will be able to tell you what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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