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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11977
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I work in a department of 8 people. I befriended one of them

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I work in a department of 8 people. I befriended one of them a little less than a year ago and I recently broke off any ties with this person because I found out she lied constantly to other people about me. Telling them I said things that I didn't say. Today she gave me and my supervisor a letter addressed to me, but not before she showed this letter to at least one other person in the office. The letter was warning me she was going to sue me for defamation of character. In this letter she told personal information about me. Again she showed this letter to other people in the office. I never said the things she states I said in this letter. Should I be worried about her suing me or her fabricating witnesses?
Thank you for your question.

It's hard for anyone to answer that without knowing this person the way you likely do, and without knowing more. But defamation claims are rarely successful with people in the private sector. That is because in order to prove defamation of character, a plaintiff has to prove that a defendant:

1) Made false statements about them either in writing or print;

2) To another person or persons; and

3) That they suffered damages.

Even IF your co-worker could get people to lie and substantiate that you supposedly said these things, they likely do not have any damages, or not significant damages of any kind. Persons who are most successful bringing defamation claims are those with the most to lose - celebrities, politicians, etc.. - people in the public eye who can be harmed by false claims against them.

I wouldn't worry about a letter they are flaunting in your face claiming they are going to sue you. You might have more concern if you get something from a lawyer - but I think the chances of that are really, really remote. After all, why would you warn someone you are going to sue them before you actually do it? It would be like telling a person you're going to punch them in their face before you do so, eliminating the surprise.

I think they're trying to scare you and upset you, and there's little chance of any actual lawsuit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She gave the letter to our supervisor asking him for his professional cooperation. What should I do if he tries to write me up? I never did these things she is stating I did.

Unfortunately, there's really not much you can do if he tries to write you up. Do you have any other co-workers, or anyone who can verify you never did the things this person claims?

Outside of that, I would ask for at least the right to refute any type of write up, and say that unless she can present evidence that you said/did these things, that it's a case of her word versus yours and you shouldn't be written up for that.
RobertJDFL and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I can ask them. Thank you very much. Everyone I talked to today told me that I should not worry. I can't help it though. I needed expert advice. Have a great evening.

My pleasure, glad to have helped. Don't forget to leave me a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you!