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Employment contracts

1999

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The Unfulfilled Promise Of Promissory Estoppel In The Employment Setting, Robert A. Hillman Oct 1999

The Unfulfilled Promise Of Promissory Estoppel In The Employment Setting, Robert A. Hillman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Although the theory of promissory estoppel enforces promises that induce reasonable detrimental reliance, this article reveals the theory's colossal failure in the non-union employment setting. This conclusion is based on an examination of all of the reported decisions in the United States that discussed promissory estoppel over a two-year period in the mid 1990's. During this period, employees won only 4.23 percent of employment promissory estoppel cases decided on the merits. At first blush, this is very surprising because employers, through their communications, seek to create the expectation of a stable, secure work environment and employees, because of their lack …