Elements of Nevada's Theories of Liability

Bad Faith Discharge

Bad Faith Discharge

Elements

Accordingly, this court held that a claim for bad faith discharge would lie in the fact-specific instance where a tenured employee who enjoyed a right to continued employment was discharged by a large, nationwide employer in bad faith for the improper motive of defeating contractual retirement benefits…

For this cause of action to apply, specific elements must exist.

First, there must be an enforceable contract.

Second, there must be a special relationship between the tortfeasor and the tort victim, such as the relationship that exists between an insured and an insurer, that is, a relationship of trust and special reliance.

Third, the employer’s conduct must go “well beyond the bounds of ordinary liability for breach of contract.”

Martin v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 111 Nev. 923, 899 P.2d 551 (Nev.,1995) (citing K Mart Corp. v. Ponsock, 103 Nev. 39, 48, 732 P.2d 1364, 1369 (1987)).

Example Cases

Proof

Damages

However, the mere breach of an employment contract by a large and powerful employer, or any employer, does not in and of itself give rise to tort damages. Id. The reason tort damages are appropriate for bad faith discharge is that ordinary contract damages do not adequately compensate, nor do they make the victim whole.

Martin v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 111 Nev. 923, 899 P.2d 551 (Nev.,1995) (citing K Mart Corp. v. Ponsock, 103 Nev. 39, 48, 732 P.2d 1364, 1369 (1987)).

Defenses

[B]reach of contract and bad faith discharge are not applicable to at-will employment.

Bally’s Employees’ Credit Union v. Wallen, 105 Nev. 553, 555, 779 P.2d 956, 957 (1989).

Misc