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Promissory what?

In September of 2021, I was working for a large employer in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. While only 1 month into my employment, we were hit with a substantial challenge of delaying start dates for over twelve-hundred entry-level warehouse workers. Due to mechanical issues and supply chain delays, critical machinery in the facility were inoperable, therefore workers with confirmed and tentative start dates were delayed. We were instructed to onboard the workers regardless.

I distinctly remember our Sr. Leadership outraged that we had to not only onboard the twelve-hundred workers but had to pay them to stay home for the estimated four to six week delay. I was tasked with determining how much money this would cost the company. Thanks to my excel skills I was able to determine approximately $1.2 million dollars would be spent in wages to the delayed workforce.

At the time I understood the primary reason in paying the workers was to mitigate the risk of losing a large workforce as we would not have the time to recruit and onboard the high volume of workers we had already secured. It wasn't until I took Employment Law during the spring semester of 2022 where I learned of the employment law risk the company was facing under the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

Using my own experience and interviewing a number of HR Professionals, my final paper for MJ-LEL Capstone titled You're Hired: Just Kidding! An examination of high-volume hiring strategies, delays, and promissory estoppel liability reviews mass hiring strategies used, by small and large companies in hypothetical situations, including an examination of liability from the legal, financial, and ethical viewpoints.

Promissory what? © 2023 by Tara Spracklen is licensed underCC BY 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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