Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Grouse (Plaintiff), accepted Defendant, Group Health Plans’s (Defendant) job offer and then quit his current job. Defendant rescinded the offer and Plaintiff had difficulty finding a comparable job.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An illusory promise can still be enforceable where the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action if injustice can be avoided only be enforcement of the promise.
Under the doctrine of promissory estoppel a promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Does the Plaintiff have a promissory estoppel cause of action?
Held. Yes. Reversed.
• Here, there is no contract. Neither party is bound due to the bilateral power of termination. Thus, the promises are therefore illusory.
• Plaintiff needs to be given “a good faith opportunity to perform his duties to the satisfaction of respondent once he was on the job.” This is not meant to imply, however, that the employer will be liable whenever he discharges an employee.
• The Defendant knew the Plaintiff would have to resign from his current job in order to accept their offer. Therefore, it would be unjust to allow the Defendant to avoid there promise.
Discussion. The court does not imply that an employer will be liable whenever he discharges an employee, but one has a right to assume they will be given the chance to perform their duties to the satisfaction of the employer. The line is not clear as to when an employee’s rights are being cut off by the employer.