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Old 02-12-2018, 03:11 PM
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Default Counteroffer in writing

Why do people say to get a counteroffer in writing? Employment is at will, meaning they could fire me tomorrow even if I negotiate a new salary today. I don't see the point, but it seems to be a common thread of advice.

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Old 02-12-2018, 03:13 PM
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I've heard that promissory estoppel applies in this situation. E.g. if you turned down another job or made a material decision because of the knowledge of your counteroffer you could sue for damages.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:22 PM
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ahh, that would make sense. Hadn't thought of it from that perspective. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:31 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Have never heard of LAPP's answer, and I think it's unlikely to be a primary reason, although it may be valid. I would almost never recommend that people start suing employers as it doesn't look good even if they're horrible and you can prove it.

If the offer is a convo between me and my manager, I would want it in writing because:
That reduces the likelihood that I will later come back and say "You agreed to X" and he says "I thought I said Y".*
Your manager might get hit by a bus or quit tomorrow
People often say things that they can't actually deliver on ("I know I promised X, but I talked to HR/dept head, and the best I could do was Y"); most people actually stop and think about this when they are writing a letter on company stationery and signing their name.
In general, manager should go through the HR process before writing up an offer, which means HR is involved, which (in this case only) is better for you
It's a bit of effort for manager to do this - well, you had to go get an offer in order for him to agree to pay you what you're worth, why shouldn't he put some effort in.
Written offer gives me time to read the fine print and think about it, mores than just a discussion


Not saying that's an exhaustive list, just some thoughts. All of those, employment-at-will allows them to walk away from that, but then they could have done that anyway, and it will be a bit harder in this case.


*As examples, what if it was purely on salary, but then he says "Oh, well I was including the 5% expected bonus at year end" or "We can do that at the next adjustment period (6 months away) or....
Just saying, even when the only thing at issue is salary, it's not completely straightforward.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:06 PM
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also good reasons, thanks
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Have never heard of LAPP's answer, and I think it's unlikely to be a primary reason, although it may be valid.
Not to get too off-track, but it looks like the primary example of this happened in California and does not usually work in other states:

https://www.nixonpeabody.com/en/idea...ult-in-damages

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New York will similarly not allow disappointed at-will job seekers to recover lost wages despite heart-wrenching facts. In Peters v. MCI Telecommunications,[1] for example, Captain Peters resigned his U.S. Army position, sold his California house, and bought a house in Connecticut before MCI withdrew its job offer. Captain Peters’ lost wage claims were dismissed because the job promised in MCI’s job offer letter was at-will. New York courts consistently refuse to apply promissory estoppel to bail out employees who give up their jobs to accept at-will jobs that never materialized.[2]

Wait a minute. We now must add a “California caveat” due to the recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District in Toscano v. Greene Music.[3] That decision, addressing a damages question of first impression in California, held that a job seeker who quit his at-will job to go to work at another at-will position could nevertheless recover lost future wages when the second employer withdrew its job offer. Those lost future wages can be assessed against the employer withdrawing its job offer “as long as they are not speculative or remote and are supported by substantial evidence.”
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:24 PM
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Gotta love CA. A land for the people, and against business.
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