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Business Torts
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

2-14 Business Torts 14.syn


Interference with Employment Relations


Joseph D. Zamore

Chapter Summary


This chapter of Business Torts covers the tort of interference with employment relations, which imposes liability on someone who intentionally, for an improper purpose, and without justification, interferes with the employer-employee relationship. More than any other form of tortious interference, this tort is affected by related statutory actions.

The chapter first traces the common law history of protection of the master-servant relationship. The chapter next reviews the effect of federal and state labor statutes, which preempt the common law for persons covered by the statutes. The chapter then discusses the elements and affirmative defenses to a claim for tortious interference with employment relations. The chapter considers typical factual setting for tortious interference by a competing employer, a supervisor, or a co-employee. Finally, the chapter provides sample causes of action, affirmative defenses, requests for documents, interrogatories, deposition checklists, and jury instructions.

Business Torts (Matthew Bender) provides extensive coverage of a variety of issues relating to important business torts, such as breach of fiduciary duty, including directors' and officers' liability; unjust dismissal; actions involving employment covenants not to compete; commercial defamation; deceptive advertising; interference with contract relations, prospective advantage, lawful business, and employment relations; trade secret misappropriation; antitrust violations; private RICO actions in the commercial context; trademark, copyright, and patent infringement; products liability; lender liability; liability for environmental impairment; and premises liability. It further provides guidance on obtaining insurance coverage for business torts through endorsements to comprehensive general liability policies or through separate, specialized policies.


Business Tort,Interference with Employment Relations,Third-Party Interference,Antitrust Laws,Negligent Interference,Justification for Interference,Fair Competition,Freedom of Speech,Competing Employer,Confidential Relationship,Master-Servant Relationship,Labor Law,Master,Servant


For a discussion of other third party interference torts, see Chapter 11, Interference with Contract Relations; Chapter 12, Interference with Prospective Advantage; and Chapter 13, Interference with Prospective Advantage.

For a discussion of commercial defamation, see Chapter 6, Commercial Defamation and Trade Libel.

For a discussion of employment covenants, see Chapter 4, Employment Covenants Not to Compete, and Chapter 18, Covenants Not to Compete in the Sale of a Business.

For a discussion of wrongful discharge of an employee, see Chapter 3, Wrongful Discharge.


See Employee Rights Litigation: Pleading and Practice (Matthew Bender) for complete coverage of the basic legal standards governing the statutory and common law claims that can be raised on behalf of employees for discriminatory treatment or wrongful discharge, along with checklists, practice pointers, cautions and warnings, citations to significant cases, and a statutory appendix.

See Employment Litigation Defense Forms (Matthew Bender) for forms on a variety of topics, including corporate disclosure, jury instructions, and summary judgment.

See National Labor Relations Act: Law and Practice (Matthew Bender) for a comprehensive, authoritative treatise on the entire scope of the National Labor Relations Act and related statutes, as interpreted by the National Labor Relations Board and the courts, along with matters of practice and procedure under the Act.

See Damages in Tort Actions (Matthew Bender) for in-depth legal and policy analyses of compensatory and punitive damages in personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases, plus case annotations to all jurisdictions and examples of illustrative awards and settlements.

See Civil RICO (Matthew Bender) for excellent coverage of the RICO statute, from the pattern and enterprise elements, to the specific acts proscribed by the statute; the practical and procedural aspects of successfully litigating a civil RICO case, including defenses and remedies; analysis of all of the latest cases; and model forms.
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