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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110501
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Is there anything I can do if a previous employer is ...

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Is there anything I can do if a previous employer is accusing me of of providing alcohol for a client and giving her money out of petty cash. This is the info that is going out in the community that I work in and is devestating my chances to atain employmeny in this field. This has been very distresing to me and has caused me to loose friendships with co workers and my mental health. I am finacially being affected from this as I cant get a job in the field I can work in. There have been many incidents during my time of employmeny including a very hostile work envioronment. I have no idea wher eto start, but I have to do soemthing.
If you can prove the accusations being made are false or not able to be substantiated, then you have a claim for defamation against the employer for spreading this information about you. The absolute defense to defamation is the truth, so if the employer has proof of the allegations, then you may not succeed on the defamation claim. As far as hostile work environment, this is a legal term of art and only applies to an environment of hostility created by discrimination based upon race, sex, age, disability or one of the other recognized discriminatory reasons. It is not intended to be "a code of civility in the workplace" according to the Supreme Court. So if they were just harassing you in general and it was not based on one of the discriminatory reasons, then you have no claim. If there is some evidence of a discriminatory reason, then you must file a complaint with the EEOC and/or the state commission on human rights and then you could seek to file a discrimination suit against the employer. You should consult with an attorney to show them what evidence you have regarding the claims the employer is spreading to other employers about you and determine whether or not it is sufficient to file the defamation claim. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact the state bar about the pro bono referral program.

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