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  1. #1
    Deee703 is offline Junior Member
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    Employee Commitment Letter Questions...URGENT HELP!

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CT

    I was just offered employment, and the employer wants me to draft a commitment letter by 8 a.m. tomorrow. I was offered this job at 4:26 p.m. today...just saying. Anyway, the email regarding the commitment letter says that in the letter I have to:

    A commitment of at least 3 years to the company and our specific office
    - What you expect from:
    - Your direct manager
    - Your Director
    - The company as a whole
    - What we can expect from you.

    This seems legally binding to me...which I don't personally think is fair. I am 21 years old with no experience with commitment letters. In fact, I've never even heard of one, which makes me wonder. I'm willing to commit 100% to any job I work on, but in the long run, if the job isn't for me or if I am extremely unhappy, I will not stay at a job. I'm right out of college and realize I need to start somewhere and want to be employed. This job looks promising; I only went through a series of interviews because I was interested in the work that I would be doing. Now, I am nervous because of this commitment letter.

    By committing to work three years at this company, if I decide to quit (with a valid reason), can they sue me or pursue legal action against me?

    I just need some advice as to what this commitment letter really means as soon as possible. Thank you all!
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deee703 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CT

    I was just offered employment, and the employer wants me to draft a commitment letter by 8 a.m. tomorrow. I was offered this job at 4:26 p.m. today...just saying. Anyway, the email regarding the commitment letter says that in the letter I have to:

    A commitment of at least 3 years to the company and our specific office
    - What you expect from:
    - Your direct manager
    - Your Director
    - The company as a whole
    - What we can expect from you.

    This seems legally binding to me...which I don't personally think is fair. I am 21 years old with no experience with commitment letters. In fact, I've never even heard of one, which makes me wonder. I'm willing to commit 100% to any job I work on, but in the long run, if the job isn't for me or if I am extremely unhappy, I will not stay at a job. I'm right out of college and realize I need to start somewhere and want to be employed. This job looks promising; I only went through a series of interviews because I was interested in the work that I would be doing. Now, I am nervous because of this commitment letter.

    By committing to work three years at this company, if I decide to quit (with a valid reason), can they sue me or pursue legal action against me?

    I just need some advice as to what this commitment letter really means as soon as possible. Thank you all!
    It means that you are comitted to them for the length of time you say you are. What is unclear about that? Hiring a new employee is a great investment; they want to make sure it pays off.

    It is not too late to decline the offer. Just sayin...anyway
  3. #3
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    This "committment letter" thing is a farce. If they will not let you have time to review your options with an employment law attorney, I'd pass, if it were me. I've been in this business 35 years and I've never heard of such a thing myself, so don't feel bad that you haven't.

    "Committing to three years" pretty much takes this out of the realm of "at-will employment" and now becomes an issue of contract law. And no one (well, no "smart" one) signs a contract without legal advice.

    Or, maybe this. "Are you proposing we enter into a contract?" I'd be interested in hearing how they explain this.
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  4. #4
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    This "committment letter" thing is a farce. If they will not let you have time to review your options with an employment law attorney, I'd pass, if it were me. I've been in this business 35 years and I've never heard of such a thing myself, so don't feel bad that you haven't.

    "Committing to three years" pretty much takes this out of the realm of "at-will employment" and now becomes an issue of contract law. And no one (well, no "smart" one) signs a contract without legal advice.

    Or, maybe this. "Are you proposing we enter into a contract?" I'd be interested in hearing how they explain this.
    I do think (on the employer's side) it is a great way to further weed out low hanging fruit.
  5. #5
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    IMHO, that can be handled in the interview process.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  6. #6
    Deee703 is offline Junior Member
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    To pattytx:

    I am definitely in the process of obtaining legal advice. I am very concerned. It's disheartening for someone right out of college.

    Anyway, what if I were to write something vague, such as:

    "I commit to working at least three years at "Said Company" at "Said Location" provided that the relationship between myself (My Name) and the Employer (Business Name) is mutually beneficial to both parties."

    I'm debating whether to do this or ask them if we are entering a contract, as you mentioned before.
  7. #7
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    That's probably vague enough. For a contract to exist, both parties need to give what's called "consideration". They're asking for YOU to "commit" to working for them for three years, but what are they giving YOU for that committment?
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    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  8. #8
    LeeHarveyBlotto is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone*of*Greece View Post
    I do think (on the employer's side) it is a great way to further weed out low hanging fruit.
    Depends on whether great takes one's ethical bypass into account. It's oily as hell IMHO.
  9. #9
    swalsh411 is offline Senior Member
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    Is this a reputable well-known-in-the-community company offering you this job? I would be very skeptical here before agreeing to anything.

    Bottom line is that they can ask you to stay for the next 300 years but in an at-will state that counts for squat. Slavery was outlawed some time ago.
  10. #10
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    I have been in HR for 20+ years and never during that time have I seen (in Canada or the US) such a thing as a pre-hire employee committment letter to be written by the employee. Nor can I imagine any circumstances where I would want to be involved in such a thing, not from an employer's standpoint, nor from an employee's standpoint.

    Someone else here said this seemed somewhat oily - I'll go a step further and say it looks downright greasy to me.
  11. #11
    Andy0192 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by swalsh411 View Post
    Bottom line is that they can ask you to stay for the next 300 years but in an at-will state that counts for squat. Slavery was outlawed some time ago.
    Except in the case of convicted felons. Just saying...
  12. #12
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Agree with eerelations and others. The more I think about this, the more outrageous it sounds. Again, what they want is getting very close to a contract with all the advantages to the employer and none to the employee. This is all stuff that should have been handled in the interviews.

    Run. Run very fast.
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    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    That's probably vague enough. For a contract to exist, both parties need to give what's called "consideration". They're asking for YOU to "commit" to working for them for three years, but what are they giving YOU for that committment?

    A paycheck...
  14. #14
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    A paycheck...
    Not enough to "guarantee" a three-year "committment".
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    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattytx View Post
    Not enough to "guarantee" a three-year "committment".
    From the perspective of consideration, it would likely be enough. However, I totally agree that it's a terrible deal for the OP (as presented in this thread)

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