Employment Law

Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Employment Law
This answer was rated:

I am a small business owner in North Carolina. An employee

was interested in purchasing the...
I am a small business owner in North Carolina. An employee was interested in purchasing the business. Negotiations fell through. This employee sent a scathing letter to all of my other employees, and two of our vendors making all sorts of false accusations and threatening to ruin our reputation if I do not sell her my business. Much of what she said in this letter was very hurtful and has already affected the morale of my other employees and has damaged our credibility with our vendors. She was terminated and we since have found evidence of theft of both money and company records, which has been reported to police. They are investigating. Do I have grounds for slander, defamation of character, extortion, blackmail, or anything of the sort?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 1 minute by:
7/3/2013
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,431
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

 

Were the statements that she made statements of fact rather than opinion statements?

 

For instance, did she make any demonstrably false statements about the business in the letter?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Yes she made several false statements.

Ok. Then you clearly have a defamation of character type suit against her. When you're dealing with a business rather than an individual though, the concept is really tortious interference with your business, which is essentially the same sort of claim.

 

As for blackmail, I don't see this rising to that level. It is a bit too public, her threats and demands, to really be considered extortion or blackmail. Again, it comes down to tortious interference and a breach of loyalty, as she was employed when she committed this offense.

 

If you can show real financial damage from her actions, it may be worth the effort of the suit.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

As I mentioned, theft charges are pending against this employee. We are missing $1650 in cash deposits that she took in and never deposited as well as confidential company files with sensitive customer information. We owe her one more paycheck. The detective working on the theft charges says not to pay her. Is that legal?


Also, she kept a $5350 check and invoice from a customer purchase and then proceeded to contact that customer, give them back their check that was made out to us, and sell them again from her new job which started yesterday at a competitor. This is a major national retailer and her district manager was aware what she did. This customer's custom merchandise has already been ordered but they have not taken delivery. I contacted the customer and they confirmed all of this. Do I have any grounds there?

Ok. Well, the theft charges are not part of a civil lawsuit for tortious interference.

 

These specific amounts that you are talking about aren't the type of damages that I'm talking about. They are more related to embezzlement, which is a different legal claim you can make against her. You can certainly roll it all into one civil claim and you have really good facts against her.

 

The type of damages that I was referring to specifically, on the tortious interference/business defamation type claim, were lost income damages that you can attribute specifically to the false statements made against you in that letter that you were referring to. So, for instance, if you can point to customers that chose to leave you based on the comments that she made, those could be additional damages beyond what you've mentioned.

 

Back to this $5350 check issue, that is tortious interference and breach of loyalty. Because the other company manager knew about it, you can add that company as a defendant too.

 

On withholding her final pay, North Carolina is fairly strict on allowing an employer to act as judge and executioner on issues of owed money. You'd need written permission to withhold her pay for an alleged theft. I think that you'd be subjecting yourself to a Department of Labor complaint to retain her check.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

What type/classification/specialization of attorney should I seek?

This is a corporate law situation, so any business law firm with a litigation department (they all will have one) can handle this sort of situation.

 

If you look for any sort of corporate/business law firm, they can handle this sort of situation. The business law people will essentially do all the research, figure out the claims and damages and then bring in one of the litigation attorneys to do the court action, if necessary. This is because it's easier to teach a litigator the specific law that may apply in any given situation than it is to teach a specialist in a certain area of law how to behave in court.

Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,431
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified
Allen M., Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Allen M., Esq. Your Own Question
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,431
19,431 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Allen M., Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,184 satisfied customers

JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

19,431 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,316 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,054 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

3,912 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I was charged with embezzlement and ordered to pay
i was charged with embezzlement and ordered to pay restitution which is a large amount a, and now the insurance company is coming after me for a small insurance claim that was paid to the company I ca… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I requested a hearing because the Labor Dept. is accusing me
Hi, my name is***** requested a hearing because the Labor Dept. is accusing me of collecting unemployment while I was working, which is not true. As a result they are requesting me to pay back $2,175.… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
181 satisfied customers
Can yoy assist in labor law, union environment? Union,
Hi, can yoy assist in labor law, union environment? … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,289 satisfied customers
A day laborer fell off a roof at a jobsite, am I liable for
A day laborer fell off a roof at a jobsite, am I liable for his medical bills? I have no workmen's comp. … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
45 satisfied customers
Possibly....labor law. A simple one methinks, however;
possibly....labor law. A simple one methinks, however; right-to-work state. Done a bit of research … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
45 satisfied customers
I need a labor law attorney. No applicable. It is a
It is a contractual relationship and not an employment relationship … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,289 satisfied customers
I'm wondering what the labor laws are regarding lunch hour
Hi, I'm wondering what the labor laws are regarding lunch hour deductions. Our employees punch in and out and at times they forget to punch out for lunches that they are scheduled for and have taken. … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
996 satisfied customers
Does the Labor Management Reporting and Discloser Act cover
Hello Does the Labor Management Reporting and Discloser Act cover public employees such as NY state troopers, if it does not could you please guide me in the right direction for a cause of action I co… read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,912 satisfied customers
I have a question on forida labor law, more with pay. Spoke
I have a question on forida labor law, more with pay. … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
The department of labor is claiming we need to back pay
the department of labor is claiming we need to back pay employee's lost wages for time that was never reported. all hours reported by the employee's were paid. how can the employer be held accountable… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I am owed over $20,000.00 Labor and expenses over 5 months
I am owed over $20,000.00 Labor and expenses over 5 months now … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,054 satisfied customers
I'm looking for an employment/labor law attorney to
I'm looking for an employment/labor law attorney to represent me. 15090 zip code area … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I'm having trouble locating a labor law lawyer here in ABQ.
I'm having trouble locating a labor law lawyer here in ABQ. NM.know one seems to have had a case in the situation of collection of final pay check. Back in July Partrick from this site explained the s… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
244 satisfied customers
I would like to consult with a labor lawyer concerning a
I would like to consult with a labor lawyer concerning a labor issue … read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,316 satisfied customers
Does the TX dept of labor have anything to do with a
does the TX dept of labor have anything to do with a contract laborer … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I lost a labor board decision for $46,969.00 due to the
I lost a labor board decision for $46,969.00 due to the judges semantics of a single word. The employer claimed that I had been paid for services rendered, when I absolutely was not. I put in hours in… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,316 satisfied customers
Nj Depart. Of Labor asking for refund of Unemployment
Nj Depart. Of Labor asking for refund of Unemployment Benefits from 2015 because I resigned from my parttime job., but I was awarded Benefits because my full time employer let me go. This request for … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,054 satisfied customers
What are the labor laws for volunteers? I worked a Blues
What are the labor laws for volunteers? I worked a Blues festival last Sunday and was promised a shirt, lunch, breaks and a ticket to the rest of the show that day. I was told I violated one of the ru… read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
996 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x