I loaned a co-worker $200 cash to assist her with some bills. It was understood that the money would be re-paid. Several months went by and I confronted the co-worker about the loan. She responded by reporting me to our HR dept with sexual harassment claiming I was bothering her because she refused to date me. The allegation is untrue but I was suspended and given a different shift at work. What rights do I have against a co-worker making a false statement to our HR dept?
State/Country relating to question: Texas
I have gotten advice online and have spoken to some attorneys.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X an Employment Law litigation attorney here to assist you.You have the right to sue the co-worker for defamation for knowingly making false statements about you in an attempt to harm your character and even your career. Another claim would for intentionally interfering with your employment. You can also sue to recover the money you loan as long as it hasn't been a year - oral contracts are enforceable if they are to be completed within 1 year. I would recommend that you consult a personal injury attorney ASAP as these cases have a very short stature of limitations as short as a year.
The loan took place in 2009 but I have been sent to HR on several occasions regarding the loan issue most recently as the summer of 2011. Im not concerned about recovering the money. My good name and character has been put through the ringer.
The statute of limitations has likely run on the loan. However, if the false allegations occurred this year, you have time to pursue that claim.
What would get her attention? Right now she is hiding behind the sexual harassment claim. Do I simply go to our HR dept and state that I wish to sue said co-worker for defamation? She would be terminated if she ever admitted the truth.
HR has nothing to do with you suing her. You would do that with an attorney. Being served with a summons for defamation will get her attention for sure. If you want to file a grievance with the employer, that's fine, but it's not going to result in any legal punishment of money award to you.
Last question and again thank you for the sound advice. Aside from being served the summons, how could I get my co-workers attention that she is in serious trouble. I'm concerned that our HR people won't act on my behalf.
A letter from an attorney demanding that she come clean by telling the employer the truth that you will sue could do the trick. It just depends on how the letter will be received - some people will be scared to death and others will throw the letter in the trash and care less.
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