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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 114141
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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My employer tricked me in to a conference call with a third

Customer Question

My employer tricked me in to a conference call with a third party attorney after I reported contact with a competitor at a trade show. The third party attorney kept stating what the personal fines and imprisonment were for violating the Sherman act. The company placed me on a restricted assignment for 6 months to be safe although our CEO and both attorneys said I did nothing wrong. I feel like I am being setup for something that I did not do. How can I protect myself?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
What are they accusing you of doing? It is not illegal for you to communicate with a competitor at a trade show, as trade shows are where everyone in an industry would be expected to network. Why do you feel you are being set up, since both attorneys and the CEO told you that you did nothing wrong?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought I probably answered that second question in my response related to modifying my assignment for 6 months. The concern is that the competitor's employee vented to me that the business was changing and that customers expected lower and lower prices. My company equates his comment to "price fixing" somehow even though I did not response.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If he told you he was going to rob a bank and you did not say anything to him about it does not make you an accessory to a bank robbery if he even does it. Similarly here, just because he made the comment to you, if you did not reply you could not be guilty of anti-trust violations since you did nothing to encourage him or conspire with him to fix prices. As far as reassigning you, the employer could decide to do so only for the purpose of removing any allegation that while you may not have said anything you lowered your prices to be competitive in response to his comments.
However, as far as setting you up, you did nothing and the company is acting to protect itself to remove any possible accusation that you did something wrong, so they are protecting you as well as the company.