It sometimes happens that a job offer will be extended and then withdrawn. This can be very frustrating for the applicant. They believed that they had a new job lined up, they may have turned down other job offers to take it, and then it has been pulled out from under them.
But is this actually illegal? It probably depends on why it happened. Employers are certainly allowed to rescind job offers if they want to. For instance, perhaps they found another candidate who is a better fit or maybe they looked at the budget and realized they didn’t actually have the money to hire someone else. But, as you may have guessed, there are also many cases where rescinding a job offer could be illegal.
How would that happen?
The issue arises when the job offer is rescinded for a discriminatory reason.
For example, maybe someone applied for a job and was well qualified. They did well on the interviews and were offered the position. But then their employer discovered that the person was already pregnant. Not wanting to deal with having a new employee miss time at work, they decided to resend the offer. But that could be illegal pregnancy discrimination if that pregnancy was the only reason that the offer was withdrawn.
Another example could be religion. Perhaps an employer didn’t specifically state that workers needed to follow a certain religion – which would be illegal – but all of the current employees do. If that employer finds out that the person they offered the job to actually follows a different religion or isn’t religious at all, and that is the reason why they rescinded the offer, it’s just another form of religious discrimination.
As you can see, the details of the case are incredibly important. Those who feel they have been unfairly discriminated against must know what legal options they have.