Withdrawal of an Offer of Employment (adapted from NSPE Case No. 91-1)
A firm agrees to hire a recent graduate, then rescinds the offer several days after the student has informed other firms that he is no longer available for hire.
Grizinski is an unemployed engineering graduate and recently has been certified as an engineer-intern. Grizinski is seeking employment with the Marval Company, a large consulting firm. After a long discussion about working conditions, salary, and benefits, a principal manager in the firm offers Grizinski a position. Grizinski accepts the position and cancels her scheduled job interviews with other companies.
Two days later, the rest of the principals of the Marval Company decide that the vacancy should be filled by an engineering technician. A week and a half later, the Marval Company contacts Grizinski and rescinds its offer.
Did the Marval Company demonstrate unethical behavior? What action could Grizinski take? Is there any additional information that would change your judgment of the situation?
See also: Employment Guidelines endorsed by many engineering and scientific societies.
NSPE Code of Ethics An earlier version may have been used in this case.
See the original NSPE case at: Withdrawal of Offer for Employment - Case No. 91-1.