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Can you sue employer for lying?

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by makirks, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. makirks

    makirks Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My husband was a district manager for a well-known company. They recently merged his position with another, thereby eliminating his position altogether. They gave him two options - take a severance package or take another position within the company. We both really wanted to take the sev. pkg. Partly because we know this company WELL! My husband has worked for them for over 25 yrs. They've told us one thing and done another before. They take advantage of their most loyal employees all the time, and we were thinking maybe we should get out while we can. But with the economy the way it is, we were afraid he'd have a hard time finding another job. So he decided to take another position.

    He had been a store manager before he was a district mgr, so that was his first choice. But because he hadn't been a store mgr for about five yrs, they wanted him to go back and work in a store as a co-mgr or asst. mgr. They even told him they felt he'd "have a store within 6 mos." That was three mos ago, and now they're telling him he can't even "sign up for ANYTHING for a yr." ("sign up" means to apply for another position)

    If he had known this up front, he'd have definitely taken the sev pkg. But they lied, as usual. Does he have any kind of legal recourse? Can you sue your employer for lying? Can I, as his wife, sue for mental anguish or something like that? (I’m pissed and would give my right arm to tell ‘em all what I think of them, but of course that would only hurt my husband in the end.)
     
  2. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    Not that I think the alledged lie is actionable because I don't. How is this s lie!?
     
  3. makirks

    makirks Law Topic Starter New Member

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    When someone says they feel, think, know - whatever - that you'll have something in six months, then it's a lie if they don't also include the fact that you can't even sign up for that something until a yr has gone by. That IS a lie, whether people think it is or not. You're obviously one of those people who think that just because they didn't include ALL the facts doesn't mean they lied. But it is a lie. They should've told him that he couldn't sign up for anything for a year instead of saying "we feel you'll have a store within six mos." Like it or not - and you obviously don't because it doesn't suit your arugment - that's a lie!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  4. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    You asked for an opinion you got one. Just because it does not agree with your way of thinking does not mean you should be rude! You are free to seek counsel from a labor Law Attorney and see what he/she says. In meantime my view stands sorry you disagree. We have members here familar with labor law that might also answer. I suspect they will see this as I do. In future please reframe from rude replies especially to those with moderating tools!
     
  5. makirks

    makirks Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And how was that rude exactly? It seems to me that you're the one who is upset because I don't agree with you. All I said was that it IS a lie. I'm sorry that just because I don't agree with you, you feel I'm being rude. I'm just stating my case that we were lied to. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I think we can all take a deep breath and take a step back... can we? :D

    This is a very sensitive situation. Part of the challenge with forums and asking advice is that you need to state the WHOLE issue with ALL the facts. It's not your fault that you can't provide all of them because (a) you weren't at the meeting, (b) you don't work in the company, and (c) there are many small details that occur over a period of time which it's very difficult to put into a few paragraphs.

    The "lie." This is a tough one. They might have lied, I don't know. Perhaps they might not have and look at it this way. Why would they lie if they also offered him severance? Perhaps they did but what is the benefit? Given the economy, you don't know what has changed within the past few months. Perhaps more stores closing or issues with who to place where and they just can't perform on what they anticipated. The understanding likely was "we will almost surely have a position in a store from what we see today." You weren't at the meeting. You can't say for sure this wasn't stated. Even if it wasn't stated that way, and let's assume the company lied, as was pointed out by jacksgal, this is a tough case to make.

    Everyone is nervous. I'm sympathetic as are our moderators. The problem is that in many instance there just is no solution and people come here, like with doctors, with the belief that there always is a remedy. Sometimes you're just not on the right side. Sometimes you're on the line and is a tough case to make. And sometimes you might even be right but your case is very difficult to make. My thought - if you go to an attorney, they will probably require you to pay a retainer and fees to prosecute. This is not a contingency case matter. If that's a route you're willing to take, it's a thought. But my guess is that, unless you have some real proof of exactly what was said, you're in a tight spot with smaller chance for success. Just my thoughts. Best of luck to you and family, truly.
     
  7. dee_dub

    dee_dub Moderator

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    Can your husband prove that, at the time they told him this, they knew he could not apply for at least a year? To put it another way - why is it he can't apply for a year? Is that company policy or regulation? Was it in place at the time? If not, I suspect you will face a steep uphill battle trying to prove that they lied.
     
  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I have been asked to add my comments to this thread so even though I think thelawprofessor has said pretty much all there is to say, here are my impressions.

    I don't think I can agree that this was a lie. I don't think that "we feel there will be something in six months" is a guarantee; I think it's what they anticipated at the time would be the case but I don't see it as a promise. Given the changes in the economy since last fall, I think you would be hard pressed to prove that they KNEW at the time that there would be nothing open for a year. And if they gave their good faith opinion of what they believed to be the case, it's not a lie even if they turned out to be wrong.

    You asked if you, as the wife, could sue for mental anguish. The answer to that is very simple - no.
     
  9. Green_Hornet

    Green_Hornet New Member

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    Tough cases in my opinion speak with an attorney, most firms the paralegal or intake specialist ask questions, and write your answers down. Then it submitted to an attorney or attorneys for review. If the case has merit you are usually called in for an initial consultation (typically free but some charge a billable hour) after that if the attorney feels you have a case, fee arrangements are discussed.

    If your case has no merit then the attorney wills usually advice you of that, before an initial consultation by phone or after.
     

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