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Tiiger

Tortious inference in South Carolina spousal priviledge

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The president of the company (****), my former employer, had a wife who had me fired. The wife had no position in the company. She was involved in a power struggle with the long term employee who hired me. Is the wife going to be able to avoid answering questions in deposition by claiming a spousal privilege?

Edited by FindLaw_AHK
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

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I don't understand the reference to "tortious interference" in the subject hearder of your post.

Is the wife going to be able to avoid answering questions in deposition by claiming a spousal privilege?

Depends on what the questions are. Confidential communications between spouses are privileged, and that privilege is subject to few, if any, exceptions.

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Note that for private employers, it is not wrongful termination simply because the president fired you at the request/insistence of his wife. When the employer is not a government agency, then the employer may legally fire you for any reason (or no reason at all) except for a few reasons prohibited by law. The prohibited reasons include firing you because:

• of your race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);

• you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government (known as whistle-blower protection laws);

• you participate in union organizing activities;

• you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);

• you filed a bankruptcy petition;

• your pay was garnished by a single creditor or by the IRS; and

• you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).

Like pg1067, I don't see where "tortious interference" applies here. If you are suing the wife for tortious interference with the contractual relationship (i.e. your employment) that you had with the company, that's a pretty tough case to make.

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It would most likely depend on the content of the questions the will be required to respond to. Have you consulted with a local Lawyer to advise on your claim?

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