Unlike breach of contract, promissory estoppel enforces promises in the absence of a contract. In order to succeed, a plaintiff must show that the employer made an unambiguous promise that the employer reasonably expected the employee to rely upon, and that the employee actually relied on the promise.
Additionally, the employee must typically show that the reliance was detrimental and that injustice can be avoided only by enforcing the promise. An example of a situation where an employee may have detrimentally relied on the promise of an employer may be where an individual is induced to leave his or her current job by a new employer, uproot his or her family, move to a new location, and is then terminated.
Read about best practices for hiring and firing employees in the following resources from Brotherhood Mutual:
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