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Man Loses 'Dream Job' After Company Decides To Go With A Different Candidate 1 Day Before He Is Scheduled To Start

Photo: Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock
Distressed worker sits by a window with a box of his office things after losing their job.

Many people can only dream of working in a field they love, and just when one man thought that dream was finally a reality, the rug was pulled out from beneath him.

A man says a company withdrew their job offer one day before his starting date.

On the "r/recruitinghell" subreddit, a forum for people to share their negative experiences with job recruiters, a person uploaded a screenshot of another user's post and captioned it with, "When you just put in your 2 weeks notice at your current job, got excited for your new job, and then came across this post on Reddit." 

The screenshot detailed a man’s experience with what he thought would be his dream company.

“I was hired for what appeared to be a dream job. Lots more money, more responsibilities, easy commute,” the user began. “After I [got] the offer letter I put in my resignation letter at my current job with a two week notice. They quickly worked to get someone to replace me so I could train them during my final week.”

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In good spirits, the user got in touch with the new employer’s hiring manager and Human Resources contact to ask if he could start three weeks from the date of his job offer so that he could make time to visit family and spread the good news. Fortunately, they agreed and all was good and well. However, things took a turn for the worst when he received an email from his new employer a day before he was scheduled to work.

“They sent me an email stating that the hiring manager had decided to employ another candidate,” the man wrote. “I call them in a panic to try to talk them out of the decision. I told them I had already left my old job and would be unemployed. No one seemed to care.”

Photo: Reddit

Most people could relate to the man’s frustration with the company based on their own experiences.

Different companies have policies and procedures that vary depending on the region. So of course, people had questions. “Offer letters generally need to be signed, correct? All of mine have been that way. Is there no way to hold someone to a signed document like that?” 

Replying to this comment, another wrote, “I signed an offer letter, did onboarding and a [employer] did this to me as well. It's at will. I pulled teeth to get paid for that time. I had to make threats for withholding of wages. Man, that company really f–ked me over.”

Photo: Shutterstock / YURII MASLAK

RELATED: A Man Was Fired On The Spot After Giving His 2-Week Notice—He Thanked Them For The Vacation By Returning Belongings In A Hawaiian Shirt

Users also suggested legal action be taken as a result of the employer breaking the contract.

“I’m not a lawyer either, but the whole point of a contract is to compel both parties to actually do what they said they’d do - and if they don’t, that’s breach of contract and legally actionable,” one wrote.

“That’s why you never put in your two weeks until you have all the paperwork signed," a final user stated.

So, is it legal for companies to rescind a job offer after jumping through hoops during their hiring process?

The short answer is yes.

If you're hired at an "at-will" company in the U.S., as one user previously mentioned, then it's perfectly legal despite how frustrating it may be. "At-will" employment essentially means that both employers and employees are free to cut ties at any time for whatever reason or no reason at all.

On the other hand, the U.S. luckily has laws to protect employees that prohibit employers, at-will or not, from terminating contracts or withdrawing offers for discriminatory reasons. Additionally, there can be legal consequences for companies if employees (or soon-to-be) can prove they suffered damages due to the rescinded offer.

In the end, most would agree that the scariest thing about the job market is its inconsistency. So while many companies can offer great benefits, growth, and of course, a decent living, they can just as easily take it away.

RELATED: Woman Gets Offered A Job On The Spot In Her Interview But Then Overhears How The New Boss Speaks To Other Staff

Xiomara Demarchi is a writer based in New York covering human interest stories for YourTango’s news and entertainment team.