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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19692
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I resigned from work after being accused of theft which was

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I resigned from work after being accused of theft which was never proven 3 months ago. I know have had several former customers contact me saying that the secretary has been telling them I am being prosecuted for theft, she also sent a face book message to a friend of mine she worked with 15 years ago, that she never kept in contact with, saying I was being prosecuted for theft. She was not even involved in the meeting I have with upper managers the day I resigned, she was out of the office. This has caused me to lose potential job offers in the field I work in, as well as much mental stress from the humiliation.

Thank you for the information. Can you tell me what your specific legal question is? Also, have you spoken to the senior management about the behavior of the secretary and if so, what did they say? Just to be clear, you have not been contacted by law enforcement about this alleged theft, correct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do I have a libel or slander case?? I have not spoke to the senior management about this. I have NOT been contacted by law enforcement either.


Thank you

Hello again and thank you for your reply. Although you may definitely have a defamation of character (slander/libel) cause of action against this individual who is making these false statements about you, there would not be a cause of action against the employer unless they know about what she is doing and do not take action to stop it. So, my first recommendation would be that you consider contacting HR or senior management where you worked and letting them know about her behavior and also letting them know that unless it stops and she takes action to rectify the false statements that you will take legal action. Or, if you prefer, you can first sit down with a local trial/litigation (personal injury) attorney who takes nonphysical injury cases and discuss this in detail. He or she might recommend that they contact the employer and/or the person making these statements by sending them a "cease and desist" letter. Or, they might recommend just filing suit against one or both of them and seeing what happens next.

But, yes, if she is making false statements of fact about you, that she knows or should know, are false, then that would be defamation of character and actionable.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I guess I am wondering if she was questioned by management since she was not on site the day this happened if i had any confidentiality issues since she has been making comments to people this has nothing to do with.


Thank you!

If you are asking if there is an invasion of privacy issue here too, then the answer would be probably not. The stronger case is defamation of character if the statements are false, and with that, it wouldn't matter where she got the information if it is false. On the other hand, if it is true, then there would be no defamation of character cause of action and whether or not there would be an invasion of privacy cause of action would depend on how she got the information. If she got it from gossip in general or being questioned, then no, that would not amount to invasion of privacy. On the other hand, if she went into your personnel file, it would be an invasion of privacy issue. You would speak to the same kind of attorney for the privacy issue as with the defamation issue.
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