• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Another worry when complaints get to court: Retaliation may be criminal conspiracy

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Here’s another thing to worry about when an employee testifies on behalf of someone suing the company: Retaliating against that employee by punishing him with additional or new work requirements or a poor evaluation may lead to federal criminal conspiracy charges.

Recent case: John Odum worked for Rayonier, bidding on timber for the company. When a third-party wood producer sued the company for alleged breach of contract, Odum was called as a witness and testified truthfully. The wood producer won a $1.2 million verdict.

Odum claimed that shortly after, company officials began a concerted effort to punish him for testifying. He said they demanded he move closer to work, gave him a poor evaluation and established unreasonable performance-improvement goals. Odum claimed the retaliation left him with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He sued, alleging that company officials conspired to punish him for testifying.

A jury agreed. The company appealed, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse the verdict. It said that conspiring to retaliate against a witness by causing bodily injury to that person for testifying in an official proceeding is a federal crime—and that bodily injury can include impairing someone’s mental faculties. (Odum v. Rayonier, et al., No. 06-16251, 11th Cir., 2008)

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/6048/another-worry-when-complaints-get-to-court-retaliation-may-be-criminal-conspiracy "

Leave a Comment