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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15586
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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My company has falsely accused me of embezzling, cover-up and

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My company has falsely accused me of embezzling, cover-up and distruction of company property. Their investigation has found that these accusations have no merit. However, it is now common knowledge though-out the company. As a manager it has made it very difficult for me to do my job. Also, it’s very humiliating to have this hanging over my head. Do I have a legal grounds to seek defamation.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Defamation of character occurs when a person makes a statement of fact (John stole this money) which causes you harm.

It sounds like you were accused (we think John did this) which might arise to the level of defamation, but not if they stated it as an opinion. If they said, "we are investigating John for some stuff" that is not defamation. That's a true statement. They were investigating.

They would need to have actually made a factual statement that was not true for it to be defamation, rather than stating an opinion. Additionally, you'd have to show some damage. Certainly being falsely accused of breaking that law presumes damages. If they said "John stole this stuff" and that was their starting position, then you do have a defamation of character claim to the extent that they told third parties (other people).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would the statement have to be written and who would have to make it. CEO, VP, Director etc. Who would be considered a third party in this case. And is there other options in this case. What if it affect a promotion.

 

Thanks,

 

RM

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
The statement would not have to be written, it can be oral. All they would have to have done is make it to a third party (not to you, but someone else). Anyone not you or not themselves is a third party.

Defamation of character is the only legal option in this case. That is the one cause of action created for this sort of thing, otherwise it wouldn't be illegal at all.

If it harmed your promotion that is evidence of damages, which helps make your case.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15586
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Allen M., Esq. and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One more question. I was asked to resign today or be discharged for poor performance. They told me they were open to discuss a better severance package then what they presently offered me, since I was not in agreement with their terms. Today was my last day.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
What is your question concerning these new facts that you've just given me? Was your question cut off?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was asked to resign or be terminated for poor performance today. I was not in agreement with thier terms on severance, they told me to make a proposal and they would consider it.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
What were you offered and what would you want?

There is no legal requirement for a severance package, so this is really more of a personal decision.

Are they asking that you sign a waiver of your right to sue? If so, think about whether you have a reasonable basis to sue and what you'd be giving up. Do you have to resign? If so, you give up unemployment, so make sure that the severance is worth more than your unemployment benefit would be.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They offered me 4 weeks salary (total 11K), and a recommendation if I released them of any claims. I was forced to resign or be terminated for poor performance. I felt that I should receive 6 to 12 months to resign. My performance was never the issue until these accusations came-up, the reason was clearly to move away from their handling of this issue in my opinion. I had been acting as the interim Plant Manager since April of this year and that it would be offical this month until this.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
6 to 12 months is not practical in an "at will" employment situation. If you had an employment contract, that would be one thing, but 6 to 12 months is more than CEO's of major corporations receive. It's practical to get something close to one week of severance per year that you were there, though higher and lower than that is possible...since they don't legally have to give you anything.

If you think that you could sue based on discrimination of some sort, then double that week per year base and start from there.

You'll never get to 6 to 12 months though.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks,
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
No problem.

Take care.

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