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Statute of Frauds and Work Contracts

Jennifer Masterson had been searching for a job since receiving her MBA in Accounting. She interviewed with a large firm, and they made her an offer for employment starting at an annual salary of $50,000. Taking the job meant that Jennifer would have to move to a new town, leaving her friends and family behind. Before accepting, Jennifer asked for reassurances that the firm would keep her for at least two years, making it worth her while to move. During the phone call, the firm did tell her that she was highly qualified and they would love her in their employ for at least two years if not more! Jennifer, as diligent as she is, wrote the following letter:

Dear Big Firm:

Thank you for your time and interest in my professional pursuits. Although it will be hard leaving my friends and family and moving to a new city, I am looking forward to working with you. I have decided to accept your offer for $50,000.00 per year commencing on March 1, 2010. I understand per our conversation that my employment will at least be for a two-year period.

Signed,

Jennifer Masterson

Although things went well for ten months at the new firm, Jennifer was terminated on January 1, 2011. Jennifer sued for wrongful termination and breach of employment contract. Big Firm asserted the Statute of Frauds as a defense.

Answer the following questions, providing relevant laws, cases, and examples to support your answer.

Does Jennifer have a viable suit for breach of contract?
Does the Statute of Frauds apply to any purported contract?
Was there a contract created between Jennifer and Big Firm?

Solution Preview

See the attached file.

STATUTE OF FRAUDS
Jennifer is claiming that a contract exists between her and The Big Firm - that the firm would keep her for at least two years, commensurate to her personal sacrifices. However, the confirmation by the company was only made through a phone call. This is evidenced in her letter to the firm stating, "I understand per our conversation that my employment will at least be for a two-year period".
Does Jennifer have a viable suit for breach of contract?
Jennifer does not have a viable suit for breach of contract. The contract that Jennifer is claiming is not existing and therefore not enforceable under the following grounds:
1. The claimed "promise" was made just through a phone call. There is no assurance that the person in the other line is authorized to represent the company in an oral ...

Solution Summary

The statute of fraud and work contracts are examined in the solution.

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