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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I am a school psychologist in CA. I am not tenured as I work

Customer Question

I am a school psychologist in CA. I am not tenured as I work for a county office of education in a small town. Recently I have been accused of sexual behaviors with another male member of a local gym (all of which are not true). The gym member accusing me of such behaviors is pretty crazy. My husband is very supportive of me and knows nothing is going on with the other man (except partner stretching). The gym wrote me a letter revoking my membership (the same with my stretching partner) the letter accused us in vague terms of inappropriate "sexual" behaviors. In an effort to clear the matter up the gym owner met with me, my stretching partner and my husband. He apologized profusely and we decided to meet with the member who seemed to have the problem. We met with the member yesterday and she proceeded to call me names and suggest I was disgusting and that my husband was "ball less." After 20 minutes of this I called her a self righteous bitch and grabbed my left breast and told her to suck it (not my finest moment). Also our family has been under duress because my father in law just died Sun. morning. Anyway... I digress. The crazy lady has threatened to get my fired and talk to my boss. As it was I saw my boss walking in the gym and decided to explain the situation. I have signed a contract for employment for next school year. What should I do to protect myself?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. How can this other woman cause you to be fired?
2. Who accused you of sexual misconduct---the woman, or someone else. I'm a bit confused because it appears you refer to both a male member of the gym, and this woman.

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, Sorry...


 


1. This woman threatened to get me fired by speaking to the county superintendent of instruction (my boss).


 


2. The women (let's call her Carolyn) accused me and my friend (James) of being sexual with each other at the gym in front of a child and others.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

No problem Rebecca,

I'm just a bit confused how some stranger is going to be able to simply contact your employer/boss and convince them to fire you over what amount to out right lies and something that has nothing whatsoever to do with your employment. I just don't see it happening.

However, if there are allegations of child endangerment or lewd behavior in front of a child, that might be investigated as you are employed by the school district. But when the investigation leads nowhere---then the district would presumably close the matter.

Perhaps the best way to deal with this is to aggressively go after this woman for Defamation---to file suit against her. As the things alleged never happened, she will not be able to prove that they did---and if she has told anyone these lies---anyone at all--- aside from you and the police or other government agencies in charge of child welfare---then she has committed Defamation, and you will have a meritorious claim against her.

From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.

In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.

The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:

1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.

2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.

3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.

4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.

In the non-business setting, where is it not your business which has been defamed, most cases involving defamation can be appropriately handled in your local small claims court. Filing your lawsuit is easy, and your case will typically be heard in 30 to 60 days. You and James would be witnesses in your claim, and presuming that the incidents never occurred, I would presume that she would not be able to defend herself.

There is no way to stop her from exercising her free speech rights---so an injunction would not be granted. However, when you win the Defamation lawsuit, that will go a long way in showing the school district that you did not do what she accused you of.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Rebecca. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

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