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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36941
Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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Do I sue students false complaints leading to my

Customer Question

Do I sue students for filing false complaints leading to my job loss, or is my employer, a university, who won't disclose the content of the complaints that lead to my job loss?
I lost my job as a TA without an actual explanation after one student 4 others. One threatened to complain when I would not give him a B, and soon after, I was fired.The reason given was “an inordinate number of student complaints,” (and they said some paperwork I did was not formatted correctly, and claimed teaching evaluations that had already been rated as “satisfactory” were low) but I was never told specifically what most of these complaints were. I was told by my immediate superior (in what appeared to be an unofficial capacity) the content of a small number of complaints, and I was given the impression that those complaints were not being taken seriously because the most vocal student was clearly trying to get a better grade, and instigated others to do the same. She told me, (unofficially) that the same group of students were coming in regularly, and one of them told her that they were trying to get me fired.What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The beginning is probably a little confusing. I don't know what the content of the complaints is, but I suspect they are false (due to the grade motivation) and that my employer knows that they are and therefore aren't giving me a chance to defend myself-- why, I'm not sure. I do know that the ringleader's father came in shortly before I lost my job as well, and my employers would not let me file plagiarism paperwork against his child. They did not even look at the paperwork before preventing me from filing it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I apologize, it appears some content of my initial explanation was cut off somehow. The most unclear sentence should say "I lost my job as a TA without an actual explanation after one student instigated 4 others to complain on me in order to get better grades. Also, the paperwork they claimed was not formatted correctly was not the plagiarism paperwork. It was something else, which is too much to explain here.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you tonight. I am so sorry that you had this happen.You can sue for defamation for any false statements or complaints that were made.The students are responsible for their actions here that defamed you and caused you job loss..The students may well be held liable to you for damages for defamation including lost income, legal fees, costs, mental anguish, etc.All of this is fair game in such a civil suit. You may be able to locate a local lawyer that will take this contingent fee where you do not pay until there is a recovery. Certainly you should pursue defamation for these false statements.You deserve some justice for all you have had to go through here. I appreciate the chance to help you tonight. Lawyer referral for libel and slander(defamation).http://www.avvo.com/libel-slander-lawyer.html
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
"Defamation" here is a term for any statement that hurts someone's reputation. Written defamation is called "libel," and spoken defamation is called "slander." Here there may have been both.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
I hope you pursue this matter in court and seek recovery for all your losses .Thanks again.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate the chance to help you here and wish you the best.