Dozens of new Target hires just learned they won't be getting the job after all. This happens a lot more than any of us in the job market even realize.
Target leaders have made no secrets over the past several months as they take a hard look at themselves and focus on transforming for future success with new hires and new strategies.
Shortly after rebounding from the massive data breach, according to a Fox 9 source, Target hired about 40 people in August and September. People in that group spent the fall giving notice to current employers, leaving jobs, moving from out of state and buying homes in the Twin Cities, only to get a phone call two weeks prior to reporting for work that their job offers were rescinded.
Sheila Engelmeier doesn't represent Target or any of the potential new hires, but through her 30 years practicing employment law, she has represented dozens of employers and employees faced with this situation.
"What happens in many of these cases, employees scramble," Engelmeier said. "Sometimes they have to figure out a different way to work with the new employer."
In a statement, Target confirmed communicating to the small group, saying, in part, "in light of the changing needs of our business, we have elected not to move forward with bringing them on board at this time. We apologized to each of them and communicated the decision as soon as it was made to help allow the individuals to adjust their plans."
Target added that those offered relocation allowances were able to keep those funds.
Engelmeier says most of these cases don't go to trial because most people don't have the resources or the energy, and a lot of employers end up taking responsibility and somehow righting the situation with that potential employee. She added that the argument exists in which there's a violation of the law in play, which says an employer can't knowingly mislead an employee to come work for them.
"And there's an argument for Promissory Estoppel -- did you make a clear and definite promise the employee relies upon?" Engelmeier said.
Her advice? Always get the job offer in writing and within the contract, ask specifically what happens if something were to change.
"You've got to ask because it gives you information either way. If the company says no, you have to think twice about making that leap of selling your house," she said.
Target declined an on-camera interview and wouldn't share specifics about the funding people who relocated were given.