"Tort" is the legal term for a civil wrong. Torts refer to conduct that is wrongful, causes harm, and for which the law provides a remedy. The primary remedy available in most tort claims is money damages.
The standard for what constitutes a tort can sometimes seem vague because tort law is based on historical case precedent and is usually not contained in any single statute or regulation. Torts include intentional, negligent, and strict liability based theories. Tort claims are also sometimes based upon violations of statutes, regulations, and other rules.
Tort law frequently involves issues related to the employment relationship. A significant portion of tort law relates to determining when and how corporations can be held accountable for the acts of their agents and employees. Likewise, corporations that negligently hire, train, or retain employees who cause harm may be independently liable for harm caused by such employees.
Employees and employers also frequently assert tort claims against one another in employment-related disputes. For example, many employment-related cases include tort claims such as intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, intentional interference with economic relations, invasion of privacy, assault, and battery. Oregon also recognizes the tort claim of "wrongful discharge," which refers to the unlawful termination of employment because the employee fulfilled an important societal duty or exercised an important employment-related right.
An overview of wrongful termination claims in Oregon.