Can implied and oral employment contracts take precedent over written contracts?

Asked 6 months ago - Pittsburgh, PA

I am a resident assistant at a public university in PA. I have been an RA for the past year, and have performed well. This year, during the rehiring process I was promised a position by my supervisor, who has the power to hire RA's. My supervisor told me in various meetings, emails, and texts that I was guaranteed a position for the following school year. I signed a routine University contract, indicating that I was not guaranteed a position next year, however my supervisor guaranteed me before and after signing this contract that I would absolutely have a position. Now, as the year ends he has just met with me and informed me that unfortunately there isn't any space for me. Even though I signed the University contract, do his guarantees of employment to me take precedent?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, but consult an attorney in your area as laws may differ in different states.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.... more
  2. Rocco Ernest Cozza


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This is a tricky question to answer without looking at everything. You should consult with an employment attorney to evaluate the contract, the emails and texts to see if there is a claim to be made for the position.

    Please note that the above answer is not intended to be legal advice. It is my personal opinion based on the... more
  3. Amy Jean Glass

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . The laws in PA can differ on this subject, so it is important to have an attorney read all of the documentation you have, especially the University contract. There are remedies available for oral/express statements made if you relied upon them to your detriment, but again, all documentation needs to be reviewed by an attorney to determine whether you qualify.

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