Raytheon Technical Services Co. v. Hyland
- Case Date: 11/6/2006
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On March 2, 2007, the Virginia Supreme Court struck a blow for First Amendment rights by imposing limits on the ability of disgruntled employees to file defamation actions against their employers based on unhappiness over statements made in performance evaluations. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the court to overturn a massive judgment awarded to a former employee. The Court agreed with WLF that most of the statements of which the plaintiff complained were statements of opinion, which (under the First Amendment) are not actionable. WLF argued that allowing employees to sue every time they disagree with a performance evaluation will cause corporations - wary of the prospect of large jury verdicts - to cease providing candid evaluations. WLF argued that by its very nature, a performance evaluation constitutes a supervisor's subjective judgment regarding how well an employee is performing and as such constitutes a non-actionable statement of opinion.
More Information and Downloads:
11/6/2006: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Limits Libel Suits Based on Performance Evaluations