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Was Georgia company guilty of tortious interference?

A worker at an Iron Mountain facility here in Georgia claims that he was fired for being part of workers' efforts to unionize and that managers at the business were engaged in a campaign to intimidate employees into not forming a union. If a court determines that the company and/or its managers were purposely trying to keep employees from organizing a union, they could be found liable for tortious interference. Many people may think of contractual relationships when they hear tortious interference, but it may also apply to any party that interferes with another in forming business relationships.

According to reports, management at Iron Mountain found out that employees were having meetings regarding forming a union. It was then that employees were told to attend both group and private meetings. During many of these meetings, workers claim managers were attempting to dissuade them from unionizing.

The worker in question was active in these efforts. He supposedly has a recording of a discussion with his boss that took place just days before he was fired. During that meeting, the manager seemingly admits to having known about his and other employees' efforts to unionize. It was just days later he says he was fired because of his support of the union.

Georgia business owners may already be aware that federal law provides some protection to employees who want to organize a union. Necessarily, businesses wish to steer clear of tortious interference accusations when employees plan to unionize. Employers are allowed to discuss the matter with employees, but there is a fine line that employers must be aware of in order to remain in compliance with applicable laws and procedures.

Source: Al Jazeera America, Workers allege union busting at government contractor in Georgia, Mark Scialla and Naureen Khan, Oct. 31, 2013

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