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Can employer sue Employee? HELP!

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

9,479 words with 14 Comments; publish: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 01:18:00 GMT; (800109.38, « »)

The state is: ?

CA.

I was employed at my previous job about 2 months ago. I worked at a call center. I got a rude woman on the phone. I saved her number and gave it to my cousin so he could prank call her. He sent her a text that said, "I'm going to talk dirty to you." He sent it from an website where you can change the number of the sender. He made it appear to be from me.

She called our main headquarters, complained and said she would sue the company for sexual harassment. They traced the number back to my phone. The branch I worked for wasn't the head company. We did work under them. If the lawsuit goes through, my ex boss may loose that side of his company. I.E. The headquarters will take away their authorization to work under tham

Consequently, I was fired and am owed over $2000.00 in unpaid wages. I filed a wage claim. My boss is threatening to sue me if he looses that part of his company. He said he will file suit for 500K+ dollars. Can he and does he have a case?

I'm 20 years old. I'm in California, the Lady was in Ohio, and our headquarters are in NY. I need to know if I'm in danger of facing a lawsuit here. If so, I don't have any assets so what could he claim?

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  • 14 Comments
    • The lady can't sue your former employer because she has no damages. Your employer can't sue you for the same reason. You should contact the DOL about your missing wages. But that was a REALLY idiotic thing to do.
      #1; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 08:02:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      The lady can't sue your former employer because she has no damages. Your employer can't sue you for the same reason. You should contact the DOL about your missing wages. But that was a REALLY idiotic thing to do.
      I know it was stupid. I never knew it would escalate to something like this. It was just supposed to be a simple prank call but I went crazy. Also, my boss asked to see my sent text messages to see if I did send it, and she verified that I did not. My cousin has an iPhone and got on those text sites. Also, he sent an apology letter.
      #2; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 20:00:00 GMT
    • There are people who have "book sense" but no "horse sense." The OP is one.

      If he spends a few sleepless nights worrying about what could happen to him, good. The person I'm sorry for is his victim, and with the concentration on what might happen to him, I'm not sure that he doesn't think on some level that she got what was coming to her because she was "rude."

      #3; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 13:07:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      And, before you ask, firing you was legal and what any competent employer would do. You had to have been out of your mind to do what you did - that sounds like something a 12 year old would do. Grow up.

      In addition to all of the above (and I completely agree with eerelations) a suit could be filed by the lady against your cousin and also against you. Whether it would be winnable or not is questionable, but you'd both still have the cost of defending it.

      Of course I know the firing was legal. I'm not even questioning that. While I did have a slip in judgment, you might be surprised that I'm a Stanford student, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha honor society with a 3.9 GPA. (Currently growing up) Thanks though. Yes was stupid.

      So you are saying the lady doesn't have much of a case against my bosses company?

      #4; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 20:03:00 GMT
    • And before you say "But I didn't do it! My cousin did it!", yes, you did do it. You gave her number to your cousin specifically so he could prank call her - if you hadn't given him the number, the whole thing wouldn't have happened.

      And to elaborate on ecmst12's response, while this lady can't win a lawsuit against you former employer unless she can prove damages, she can certainly start a lawsuit against your former employer. And your former employer may end up spending all kinds of $ defending that lawsuit. And then turning to you to try to recoup those expenses.

      #5; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 09:16:00 GMT
    • You're SUPPOSED to go to an Ivy League school? Stupid IS as stupid does. Why on earth did YOUR STUPID cousin use your number? You deserve what you get.
      #6; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 08:19:00 GMT
    • Hopefully, they have both learned a valuable less. The OP seems to understand that his behavior was immature, unprofessional, and downright stupid. He seems to recognize now that there can be serious consequences to "jokes and pranks." Let's hope he escapes this ordeal with only the scare of his young life, rather than engaged in a legal battle. However, he's just starting out and he already has a black mark on his employment record. Who is going to hire someone who has demonstrated such pettiness, need for retribution and poor judgment?

      Most colleges and universities offer students counseling and guidance. The OP needs to find out what Stanford offers and sign up for some assistance.

      #7; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 13:43:00 GMT
    • The other thing he needs to be aware of is anyone with a filing fee can sue. Whether they would win or lose is not the point; the OP would still have the cost of defending the case, even if he ultimately won.
      #8; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 16:42:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      I don't know of any statute under which the woman could file a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. She has no standing under the federal EEO statutes. She has no employment relationship with your employer. Any lawsuit she attempts to file in federal district court would be dismissed promptly. I really doubt that she could find a lawyer who would file such a lawsuit.

      I don't know of any federal statute that covers sexually harassing telephone calls outside of the employment area. I don't think Ohio or California have state laws that cover this situation. Normally, lewd and harassing phone calls are handled by the local police. Further, alerting someone that you plan to talk dirty in the future, but you never do, usually is not actionable anyway.

      I also don't know of a law under which law employer can sue you to recover his expenses or damages because you released the telephone number of a client.

      That's what I assumed. I didn't think she could file for any damages, and I didn' think that my boss could sue me for releasing a phone number. Anyways, I know what I did was incredibly stupid. I will never do that again. Just one of those phases where you're thinking half kid/half adult. Thanks for the advice. Can anyone else chime in?
      #9; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 00:53:00 GMT
    • I don't know of any statute under which the woman could file a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. She has no standing under the federal EEO statutes. She has no employment relationship with your employer. Any lawsuit she attempts to file in federal district court would be dismissed promptly. I really doubt that she could find a lawyer who would file such a lawsuit.

      I don't know of any federal statute that covers sexually harassing telephone calls outside of the employment area. I don't think Ohio or California have state laws that cover this situation. Normally, lewd and harassing phone calls are handled by the local police. Further, alerting someone that you plan to talk dirty in the future, but you never do, usually is not actionable anyway.

      I also don't know of a law under which law employer can sue you to recover his expenses or damages because you released the telephone number of a client.

      #10; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 22:50:00 GMT
    • FYI - Stanford is not a member of the Ivy League.
      #11; Sat, 02 Aug 2008 11:36:00 GMT
    • And, before you ask, firing you was legal and what any competent employer would do. You had to have been out of your mind to do what you did - that sounds like something a 12 year old would do. Grow up.

      In addition to all of the above (and I completely agree with eerelations) a suit could be filed by the lady against your cousin and also against you. Whether it would be winnable or not is questionable, but you'd both still have the cost of defending it.

      #12; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 10:10:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      The lady can't sue your former employer because she has no damages. Your employer can't sue you for the same reason. You should contact the DOL about your missing wages. But that was a REALLY idiotic thing to do.
      Already filed a wage claim. Waiting to hear back from them. If my boss looses that side of his business would that be considered damages? Could he sue me then? Also, if he is fined by the FTC or DNC for this infraction could he pass the charges to me? I mean the boss makes the money and also has to pay for mistakes right? Even if they're one from an employee.
      #13; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 20:04:00 GMT
    • You and your cousin could be fined, I suppose. I don't see any way that your employer could be fined.
      #14; Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:33:00 GMT