Re-tracting an offer of employment
Hello I have a situation that I would appreciate some guidance on.
We made an employment offer to a job candidate in which this person accepted and was scheduled to start work on 10/13/08. He called the evening before he was to start and left a message stating that his uncle suddenly passed away and he would not be able to come in to work until later that week. I called him back and let him know that we were sorry to hear about his situation and we could push his start date to 10/16/08 he said that would be fine. Our billing manager decided that it would be easier for both parties if he could start on 10/20/08. She then called and left him a message on 10/14/08, this person called back on 10/15/08 letting me know that he was still out of town and that starting on 10/20/08 would be fine and he would be there no matter what. Today when I come into work 10/20/08 I received a message from this person (he called 10/19/08) stating that his aunt had a massive heart attack (on 10/16/08) and was in the hospital and he had to stay to help his cousins deal with everything since they lost their father and now their mother was in the hospital. He called me this afternoon to make sure I got his message and wanted me to know that he was sorry and could start on 10/23/08 since he would be in town by then.
Although I understand that these types of situations happen this one has red flags waving all around it. Could anyone please help me in determing whether we should give this person another chance or let him know its not going to work out. If we do decide that it is not going to work out can we advertise the position once again since we dont really have another candidate lined up? What would our legal liability be? We have had employees who started off like this in the past and it did not end up well and of course I would like to avoid future problems if possible.