coworker that was fired for loss prevention reasons is going around to surrounding stores within the company that i still work for and is saying that i am stealing and i should be fired also because i did the same things she did. The first few statements i ignored because i figured she was blowing off steam and angry but this has been going on for months now and i am tired of it. How do i know her accusations will not affect future possiblities for advancement and i work very hard to do my jop correctly and honestly and do not want someone going around to other people in the company telling them i am a theif.
State/Country relating to Question: Connecticut
I contacted my boss after the last incident and she told me she would address the issue at the other store where the rumors were coming form because the woman that was fired from my store is friends with the manager in the other store.
This is a potential defamation of character case.
Defamation is an actionable tort (civil wrong) involving untrue statements being made that are damaging to the reputation of the subject of the statements.
The following are exerts from the Civil Jury Instructions 3-11.5 from the State of Connecticut...
Slander is oral defamation of character. Slander is the speaking of defamatory words which injure the reputation of the person defamed or which deter people from associating with or dealing with the person defamed.
In most cases, a plaintiff must prove actual injury to (his/her) reputation in order to recover in an action for slander. Actual injury must be proven unless the slander occurred in one of the categories called slander per se. If a statement is slanderous per se, a person is entitled to recover for general damages to (his/her) reputation without having to prove that actual damage was caused by the statements. This is because the law conclusively presumes that these statements cause injury to a person's reputation.
If the plaintiff has proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant made the statement to a third person, which identified the plaintiff, such that it would be reasonably understood that it was about the plaintiff, then this would be slander per se because any of the following...
The statement falsely charges someone with having committed a crime that involves moral turpitude or for which an infamous penalty is attached.
The statement falsely charges someone with having a loathsome or contagious disease.
The statement falsely charges a woman with being unchaste.
The statement falsely charges someone with incompetence or dishonesty in office.
The statement falsely charges a professional person with general incompetence.
The statement falsely charges a person with conduct or characteristics that would adversely affect (him/her) in (his/her) trade or business.
You should consult a local attorney about the potential of filing a lawsuit against this individual and seeking damages and a restraining order. You may elect to start with a formal demand letter that she immediately cease and desist from these defamatory statements. Otherwise you may choose to sue...
You will want to discuss the details of this case with a local attorney to determine if the potential lawsuit is financially feasible (can you collect an awarded judgment from this person?).
Please reply if I can help further.
do you have any information as to what type of attorney would handle such case in my area? I am not sure i would be able to collect any damages so to speak but that isn't really my objective, i want it to stop, if i could collect damages that would just be a bonus.
Any general civil practitioner or personal injury lawyer would suffice. Finding a good lawyer is best done through a personal referral (friend, family, coworker, etc). If that is not possible, you can try the phone directory but I prefer an online directory such as http://www.lawyers.com/ where you can search by geographical location and practice area (personal injury).
Given your reply you will likely just want to have the attorney send a demand letter, however you need to have the consultation to discuss all your options and the applicable statute of limitations on any potential claim.
Over 11 years in practice as a litigator ... civil and criminal
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