What Is "Promisory Estoppel"?
-Typically, claims of promissory estoppel occur when an offer of employment on certain terms does not materialize.
In employment law, the concept of "promissory estoppel" can create an enforceable promise or contract, where typically a contract would not otherwise exist. An employee must prove three elements to support a claim based on promissory estoppel:
1. Clear and definite promise, such that the employer should have reasonably expected it would induce action by the employee;
2. Intent to have the employee rely on the promise, and proof the employee did rely on the promise to his or her detriment; and
3. Enforcement of the promise is required to prevent injustice.
Typically, claims of promissory estoppel occur when an offer of employment on certain terms does not materialize, or an employee is terminated after a "promise" of employment for a
guaranteed or certain time period. It is a reminder that employers should be careful in their assurances to employees feeling insecure in their jobs, or in trying to convince potential employees to accept offers of employment.
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