Can an employer simply withdraw a job offer?

Question: In a situation where the employer wants to withdraw a job offer before the candidate is expected to onboard, is there a process that needs to be followed?

Can an employer take back a job offer before the candidate joins the organization if the reason is economic crisis/recession?

Dubai, UAE

Answer: As a general rule, an employer can withdraw a job offer before the employee comes on board, (a) without any certain kind of process or procedure, and (b) without any price, penalty or payment to the disappointed employee. In my experience, though, most employers would reimburse out-of-pocket expenses, such as moving expenses.

Here are some possible exceptions to the general rule I noted above:

1. If some local law requires some process or payment. (I know nothing about the employment laws in Dubai.)
2. If the employer, itself, has a policy that requires a certain process or payment.
3. If you signed a contract with the employer that required some process or payment.
4. If the word “guaranteed” was in your offer letter, which would probably then require that any “guaranteed” payment be made to you.

If you resigned from another job to take this job, or you incurred some expense in traveling or moving for this job, I strongly suggest you write a letter to either the CEO or the Board of Directors asking for reasonable recompense.

What has apparently happened to you, has happened to a good number of people recently in this current economic downturn, including some who have contacted us. I hope this information and these suggestions prove helpful

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Best, Al Sklover

P.S.: Job offer accepted, then withdrawn, leaving you in a bind? Consider our Model Letter entitled “Job Offer Accepted, Then Withdrawn – Requesting Payment of Losses.” Shows you “What to Say, and How to Say It.”™ To obtain your copy, [click here.] Delivered by Email – Instantly!

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover. Commercial uses prohibited. All rights reserved and strictly enforced.