Once a job offer is accepted, is it legally binding?


This is my first posting, and i have a simple question. Once a job offer is accepted, contract is signed, and start date is stipulated, is the contract legally binding? i.e. is it possible (without having any legal implications) to “change your mind”?


I’m not sure about this. Was the start date specified in the contract? I would think if it was and it has not been reached, then your obligations for quitting that are outlined in the contract. Some companies insist you give two weeks notice for example. I’m not a lawyer though :slight_smile:

I would just tell the employer. If i was hiring you i wouldn’t want you to come to work at all if you were just going to leave in a couple of weeks.

Depends on whether or not you have a contract, and how that contract’s worded. If you’re not on a contract and/or in an at-will state it should be a lot easier to change your mind about the job.

snazzer, you said you signed a contract, what does the contract say about getting out of it?

i think you would have to give the required notice, i.e. you will probably actually have to work there for a while

If a contract has been signed then usually it means that you agree to all the terms and conditions inside of it. I guess you could consider it leagally binding but whether a company would actually take it any further is another matter (would they really want to take legal proceedings and spend a fortune going to court, or would they rather just spend the money recruiting someone else)

It should state in the contract somewhere notice periods given. I assume there will be an initial probation period whereby either party can terminate the contract/employment (usually a week, but can be different).

I agree with ses5909. I would tell the employer if you don’t actually intend on staying there. It’s a waste of their time, money and manpower in showing you the ropes for no reason.

The “contract” is an offer for full-time employment, so it’s not a “contract” job.
The conditions for termination of employment state that either party must give the other 4 weeks notice. The point of interest for me is that since i have not started yet, there’s no point giving 4 weeks notice.
I know, morally, that it’s bad because i’m screwing the company over (somewhat), but i don’t see my future there. Do you guys think that i should just talk with the hiring manager and be frank about this?

Thanks for your responses!

I definitely think you should talk with them. There is nothing in it for them to waste the time and effort to train you if you will not stick around.

I would say most contracts will be legally binding, but in this case commonsense should prevail. As has been previously said, there is nothing in it for the company if they make you stick to it. Just a waste of your time and their money. Talk to them.

I’ll talk to the company about it and be honest with them. Thanks for all your input!

Partially relieved,