Tort Claims In Employment Law
There are many different types of tort claims recognized by Massachusetts state courts, only some of which are discussed herein. Some of the tort claims include interference with contractual relations, negligent interference with advantageous business relations, fraud, misrepresentation, defamation, and assault and battery. It is worth noting that some claims fall under the Worker’s Compensation Act.
An Example Case: Fraud And Failed Promises
One of our attorneys recently represented three high-level former employees in a fraud/deceit claim. There, the employees alleged that the company induced them to quit their former jobs because of excellent opportunities with the company. The company had fallen from grace, but because of the name recognition and intellectual property and international support, had indicated that it was going to re-launch and restore itself to glory in North America.
The company promised to provide all the resources, i.e., support staff, infrastructure, intellectual property, etc. for the employees to succeed. The company offered a small base salary and a generous, incentive-laden commission and bonus structure. Unfortunately, the company did not provide any of the resources it promised. The theory during a two week arbitration was that the company only needed to hire some warm bodies during a transitional period and then terminate the three employees before the true launch. In other words, the company needed some ‘place holders’ to keep the name and brand alive on a temporary basis until corporate was able to legitimately re-launch the business plan.
It is worth noting that companies are allowed to make predictions about success and representations about their intentions to support their staff. Companies are not allowed, however, to knowingly make fraudulent representations before the hiring process to induce an employee to quit another job.
In the above case, the three senior level employees settled during the second week of arbitration. The total amount paid exceeded $300,000.00.
Contact Davis & Davis, P.C., To Meet With A Lawyer About Your Concerns
We encourage you to schedule a meeting to discuss your employment matter with an attorney. You can call our office in North Reading at 978-276-9051 or complete a confidential form online.