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In order to recover you will need to prove the statement was false. You will also need to establish how the statement damaged you monetarily. The extent of the financial recovery can depend on whether the individual making the statement knew the statement was false.
If the monetary impact to you is large then you may wish to pursue a claim. If all you want to do is punish the person that made the statement it might be better and easier to talk to HR department.
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Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely information and no attorney client relationship has been formed. You should always contact a local attorney for legal advice.