Find the right lawyer now

Wrongful Inducement Of an Employee To Leave Employment

Find a Local Employment Lawyer near You

When a party wrongfully induces an employee of another company to leave a job, that party may be liable to the employer for the economic losses that result from such interference. This type of a claim usually arises when a competitor company tries to induce key employees from other companies to come work for it. Wrongful inducement of an employee to leave employment may also happen outside the rivalries between competing businesses, but that is very rare.

What Do I Have To Prove In Order To Sue for Wrongful Inducement of an Employee To Leave Employment?

The employer will usually need to prove the following in order to sue:

1. An employment contract or relationship existed between the employer and employee;
2. The inducer knew and intended to interfere with the employment relationship;
3. The inducer induced the employee to resign;
4. The inducement was wrongful; and
5. The inducement caused actual damages to the employer's business.

When is an Inducement Wrongful?

Typically, an inducement is wrongful if:

1. The inducer intended to harm the employer's business;
2. The employee's resignation constituted a breach of contract;
3. The inducer breached its fiduciary duty to the employer; or
4. The inducer intended to obtain trade secrets and other secret information from the employee.

Notice that proof of actual malice (i.e. ill will to do harm to the employer) is not an absolute requirement.

Can I Be Liable For Wrongful Inducement of an Employee To Leave Employment If the Employee is an At-Will Employee?

Yes. This claim covers both employees under a contract and "at-will" employees.

Can I Be Liable For Attempting To Induce an Employee To Leave Employment?

Generally no. The employee needs to actually leave employment or breach an employment contract in order for the inducer to be liable to the employer.

What are Some Common Defenses To This Claim?

A person who is being accused of wrongfully inducing an employee to leave employment may raise the following defenses:

1. He/She was ignorant of the contractual or employment relationship;
2. The employee's resignation was not caused by him/her;
3. Inducement was not wrongful;
4. Inducement was legitimate business competition; or
5. Employer did not suffer any actual loss from the employee's resignation.

Do I Need an Attorney Experienced in Wrongful Inducement of an Employee To Leave Employment?

If you have been accused of wrongfully inducing an employee to leave a job, it will be beneficial for you to consult with an experience employment attorney. An attorney will evaluate you case and be able to help defend you in court if necessary.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-06-2012 04:11 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.