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How to deal with blackmail from a former employee

Dec 20, 2022 | Business Litigation

It is not uncommon for the relationship between an employer and a former employee to deteriorate, especially if the employment contract ended on bad terms. If an employee is blackmailing or threatening your business, you need to act. 

Legally speaking, blackmail is the crime of threatening to make public damaging information about you or your business unless you pay or grant them certain benefits. Sometimes, the perpetrator may seek favors other than money, like sexual relations. 

Knowing if you’re being blackmailed

Here are the four elements you need to prove blackmail. 

  • the employee made false claims/statements about your business, products or services
  • the false claim was published to a third party
  • the employee was malicious in making the false claim ( malice claim here being an intention to hurt your business)
  • the false or malicious statement resulted in damage to your business

So what do you do if an employee is blackmailing your business?

Clearly, dealing with blackmail can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, you have a couple of legal options at your disposal. 

Blackmail is illegal, no matter the nature of your relationship with the perpetrator. While you may be adamant to seek help, it is in your business’ best interests that seek legal redress against your employee.

Your recourse following employee blackmail

If you have been blackmailed by an employee leading to business and reputational damage, it helps to understand that you have legal options. If the employee in question is currently on an active contract, then you may need to take drastic measures to protect your business. 

Knowing your legal options can help you protect your business from a malicious employee.