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Law 2/8/2012 Chapter 12: Case #2 Case is about Peter Barnes who found a job a Pentrix, a stable corporation that specialized in designing hand-held computers. Once employed at Pentrix, Barnes would receive a policy manual every year that discussed benefits as well as Pentrixs discipline system. Their system had three steps. 1. An employees supervisor must discuss the employees deficiencies with employee and suggest ways to improve. 2. Employee must received written notice of his/her poor performance 3. Employee must receive written warning that if their performance does not improve, he/she will be terminated. The manual also provided Pentrix the complete discretion to decide who would be discharged in the event of a company layoff. In the year 2000, Pentrix added a blurb to the policy stating that the policies were merely a guideline to management and that Pentrix had the right to terminate or change them at anytime. Barnes signed that policy change in the year 2000. Barnes was a good employee that received several good performance reviews but occasionally arrived late to work or didnt thoroughly proofread his work. In 2007, Barnes received a job offer from another corporation but declined it because his Supervisor suggested that Barnes might be promoted to a Day Shift Supervisor one the current Supervisor resigned. In 2008, Barnes was discharged from Pentrix. He was told it was due to the company slowing down. When Barnes was leaving the company he came across the VP of computer design, she stated Too bad about your job, maybe this will teach you to stop leaking our computer designs to

other companies. Three weeks after be laid off, Barnes applied at the company that had originally made him a job offer in 2007. That company called Pentrix to find out why Barnes had been laid off and Pentrix responded that it was due to a company slowdown. When Barnes interviewed at the new company he was asked why he left Pentrix. He responded that he was officially told that he was discharged because of reduction in force but he was really fired because he was wrongfully suspected of leaking the corporations computer designs. Barnes was not hired. a. What claims might Barnes bring against Pentrix, Inc.? Barnes could claim that there was a breach in the implied contract between Barnes and his Supervisor at Pentrix. Barnes turned down his job offer because he his Supervisor suggested that he might be promoted to Supervisor once the current supervisor resigned. He could also claim defamation. The VP wrongfully accused him of leaking information to another company. He could also claim false inducement because his Supervisor stated that the Wordprocessing Supervisor would be resigning soon and that Barnes would get his position. b. If you were investigating whether Barnes could successfully sue Pentrix, what information would you want to know? I would want to know how Pentrixs policy was written out, if there was any implied contract, if defamation of his name occurred within Pentrix, and whether or not Barnes really leaked out information c. What damages might Barnes be entitled to recover? He can recover from wrongful termination if he can prove he was wrongfully terminated. Although he was terminated because of reduction of force, he was wrongfully accused of leaking information. No investigation was conducted to prove that he had

leaked information. He can also recover for defamation. His name was being slandered within the company for a false accusation.