Picture this: You’ve been searching for a new employment opportunity, not dissatisfied with your current position, but also ready for change. That’s when you see an advertisement for an opening for your dream job. It has the perfect location, amazing benefits, and it’s a step above what you currently do, so you’d be moving towards your overall career goals.
So, you take a meeting where you are promised all of these too good to be true employment benefits including a $15 per hour pay increase from your current employment, increased health benefits, and 15 vacation days before your first year.
All you have to do is sign on the dotted line. And you do. Unfortunately, it seemed too good to be true because it was. And unfortunately, you don’t realize it until your first pay stub comes with an explanation of benefits.
Your first thought is this has to be a breach of contract–and you’d be correct. But did you also know you can file for what is known as fraudulent inducement of employment? The New York employment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam explain.
What is the fraudulent inducement of employment?
Fraudulent inducement of employment is the legal assertion that the employee has been defrauded into taking or staying in a position of employment-based upon false statements made by the employer.
While most common cases of fraudulent inducement revolve around pay promises, other forms of inducement include:
- Working Conditions
One important aspect of these cases to be mindful of is that in at-will employment states such as New York, an employee can be fired at any time, for nearly any reason, so long as it is not illegal. So while they cannot sue most likely for wrongful termination–they can bring the point that had they not been fraudulently induced into the position, they would not have taken the job in the first place.
Proving Fraudulent Inducement Of Employment In New York
To prove fraudulent inducement of employment in New York City or New York State, an employee must prove via the omission* of facts the four elements of fraud:
- 1. The opposing party’s concealment of information that he/she had a duty to disclose;
- 2. The opposing party’s intention to defraud, or scienter;
- 3. The pleading party’s reliance on his/her resulting mistaken impression; and
- 4. Damages.
*Nash v. The New School, No. 05 CV 7174, 2009 WL 1159166, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 29, 2009).”
What is key to fraudulent inducement of employment cases is that the intent to defraud was present. If the employer simply made a misstatement or mistake, it is unlikely that a victim will be able to recover damages.
In order to show it was not a mistake but was intentional fraud, the employee will need to supply evidence like letters, phone calls, email exchanges, etc. In addition, the employee must show the resulting damages acquired because of the fraud. This can include things like moving expenses, loss of income, lost employment opportunities, etc.
Finally, an employee must be critical of the reasonableness of the claims. Obviously, a fast-food employee in New York City is not going to make a million dollars a year–so if an employer suggests that, you likely are not ever going to be able to bring forward a claim.
Cases of fraudulent inducement of employment can quickly become complicated. It is always best to speak with an experienced attorney who can review your case and help create a plan.
New York Employment Attorney, Fraudulent Inducement Of Employment: Brown Kwon & Lam
Whether you gave up another position, or you had been misguided and lied to in order to stay in another, the employment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam can help you navigate your fraudulent inducement of employment case.
Our team will review your contract and any supporting documents and guide you through the legal process. If you have been defrauded by an employer, know that the New York employee advocates of Brown Kwon & Lam are here for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.