How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask attyadvisor Your Own Question
attyadvisor
attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5646
Experience:  28 years in Employment Law
68197583
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
attyadvisor is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I want to pursue legal suit against co- worker for

Customer Question

I want to pursue legal suit against co- worker for defamation of character, as well as the employer for mis-conduct actions taken after returning to work after 4 month non-work related disability & FMLA leave. Do I have a case against both?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the Attorney that will be assisting you.

Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

I want to pursue legal suit against co- worker for defamation of character,

The only defense to defamation of character is if what was said was true. Can you explain the nature of the defamatory statements?

"Defamation, also referred to as slander or vilification is a claim stated or implied that projects a negative image about an individual, business, group, product or the government. Defamation can include both written statements (libel) that smear an image and spoken statements (slander) that disparage an image. Defamation laws are slightly different in each state. For example, Kansas has specific defamation laws that apply within the state.

Criminal Defamation

  • Kansas is one of only a few states that has criminal defamation laws. These require a higher standard of proof for conviction. The higher threshold of proof is "actual malice" for a party to be convicted of defamation in Kansas. This level of malice requires that the party must actually know that the statements or printed statements are false. One exception to this threshold of "knowing" occurs in instances where the party should have known the statements were false. For example, an individual should know that his neighbor is not actually an alien from another planet.

Defamatory Per Se

  • Kansas additionally recognizes that certain cases of statements qualify as "defamatory per se." This means that the parties seeking justice do not have to actually prove the statement was "defamatory." This follows the common law tradition that the damages for these "per se" statements are presumed. The following examples usually qualify under this "per se" distinction: allegations or imputations that are injurious to a party in his trade, profession or business, allegations that an individual has a "loathsome" disease (such as a STD), allegations that an individual is lacking in chastity, and allegations of criminal activity or conviction.

http://www.ehow.com/list_6046529_kansas-defamation-laws.html

"In Kansas, defamation is defined as a harmful false statement(s) of fact, made to a third party, without the consent of the person or business referenced in the statement(s). Libel is written or graphic defamation; slander is auditory or spoken defamation.

What Plaintiffs Need To Prove To Win A Slander or Libel Lawsuit in Kansas

To win a defamation lawsuit in Kansas, the plaintiff must prove that the statement:

  1. Is false;
  2. Caused material or reputational harm to befall the plaintiff;
  3. Was made by the defendant about the plaintiff;

Additionally, Kansas defamation plaintiffs must prove that the defendant acted either negligent or with actual malice.

Kansas Defamation Statute of Limitations

A civil suit brought against a defendant for libel or slander must be brought within one year from the time the original statement was made."

http://kellywarnerlaw.com/kansas-defamation-laws/

as well as the employer for mis-conduct actions taken after returning to work after 4 month non-work related disability & FMLA leave. Do I have a case against both?

If your employer was engaged in misconduct you have rights on Labor at both the State and Federal level. You may have not only have a legal case against them in court there may be other complaints against the employer available to you depending on the stuation.

Expert:  attyadvisor replied 3 months ago.

Can you explain the misconduct so I can provide you with the resources to take action against both the employer and employee?

You can file a complaint against the Employer with the Department of Labor at https://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/howtofilecomplaint.htm

This is the Kansas Department of Labor Wage site https://www.dol.ks.gov/Laws/HRDirectives.aspx

This is a link for the Family Medical Leave Act http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/08/use-and-abuse-of-the-family-and-medical-leave-act-what-workers-and-employers-say

Which county is the company located in?

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you. If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.

Related Employment Law Questions