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Is it legal to make threats or to cause someone loss?


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#1 peacechaser

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

I recently gave notice to my employers because I found a new job, and my current employer has told me that he has talked to my new employer and if I don't agree to his terms in various negotiations my new job is at risk. Is it legal for him to make this threat, if I do lose my new job because of him is he liable and what is my recourse at this point?

#2 adjusterjack

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:04 PM

I recently gave notice to my employers because I found a new job, and my current employer has told me that he has talked to my new employer and if I don't agree to his terms in various negotiations my new job is at risk. Is it legal for him to make this threat,


Look up your state's penal code. Extortion is a crime. Print it out and hand it to him.

if I do lose my new job because of him is he liable and what is my recourse at this point?


Defamation is a civil tort. If you lose your job because your employer tells lies about you, you might have grounds to sue him for damages.

Google defamation, print it out and hand it to him.

If you are willing and able to to sue his pants off, then make it clear to him that you will do so. Just don't make any threats that you aren't willing to back up by hiring a lawyer.

Might be a good idea to have a lawyer write him a scary letter about the potential consequences of pursuing the course that he's on. Shouldn't cost you more than a hundred or two and could get your boss to back off.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#3 peacechaser

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

Thank you for your advice.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:21 AM

What terms is your current employer referring to? Also, have you spoken to your new employer about this matter?

#5 pg1067

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:41 AM

I recently gave notice to my employers because I found a new job, and my current employer has told me that he has talked to my new employer and if I don't agree to his terms in various negotiations my new job is at risk. Is it legal for him to make this threat, if I do lose my new job because of him is he liable and what is my recourse at this point?


I don't know that I'd characterize that as a threat. As for whether it's legal or illegal, it depends on what exactly your employer is talking about, the nature of the "various negotiations" to which you referred, and the laws of your unidentified state. In other words, without some factual background/context, it's impossible to assess your post.

#6 pg1067

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

Look up your state's penal code. Extortion is a crime. Print it out and hand it to him.


Just be prepared for your employer to laugh heartily at you.


Might be a good idea to have a lawyer write him a scary letter about the potential consequences of pursuing the course that he's on. Shouldn't cost you more than a hundred or two and could get your boss to back off.


I would steer clear for any lawyer who would write such a letter for only "a hundred or two."

You need to ascertain first whether anything illegal or wrongful has occurred, and, as my prior response indicates, we have no way of knowing whether that's the case. Any competent attorney would first want to review the relevant facts and applicable law. A proper analysis won't be horribly expensive, but it should take more than half an hour of a lawyer's time.

#7 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:39 PM

I recently gave notice to my employers because I found a new job, and my current employer has told me that he has talked to my new employer and if I don't agree to his terms in various negotiations my new job is at risk.


The details are extremely important. Exactly what would your old employer do that would put your new job “at risk?” What was the conversation between the two employers? And in what state is all this taking place?

Adjusterjack is assuming that this is extortion, but without the answers to the questions I asked, there is no way that anyone can arrive at a good conclusion on that. Note that handing your old employer a copy of the extortion statute and implying he's committing a crime may do you a lot more harm than good, particuarly if the old employer is not committing any offense here.

As for sending a “scary letter” from a lawyer, whether that's worth the expense will depend on the details of what the employer doing and how knowledgeable or well advised he is about the law. If the employer isn't doing anything wrong and has good legal advice, he'll likely just laugh at the letter and it won't change a thing.


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