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Lawgirl
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I was working in a hostile work environment, two employees

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I was working in a hostile work environment, two employees asked me to present formal letters of complaint against the general manager at a sales meeting I attended with the CEO and the COO of the company. As result of the content of those letters, the General Manager was terminated two days later. Since that time both of the employees who made the original complaints, as well as myself have quit the company. I just learned that the CEO of the company has offered the former general manager his job back and the word is that the CEO has told the former GM that it was because of those letters and my comments about the hostile work environment that cost him his job. This was to be held in strict confidence. That being said, is it possible after 18 months since this occured, could he sue me for defamation? We live in Colorado.

Sincerely,

TW

Lawgirl :

Thank you for your question.

Lawgirl :

Yes, he can sue you for defamation because the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that anyone can sue for anything, even if it is not true. The real question is whether he can win if he were to sue you for defamation. If you made truthful statements, the answer is no. Defamation can only be brought where false factual statements were made. If what you stated was true, it would not support an action for defamation. To the extent that what you stated was based on your opinion, those matters are not factually based and also are not the proper subject of a defamation action. However, if you lied or made false factual statements, then you may be susceptible to a defamation lawsuit.

Customer:

What about the statute of limitations for Colorado, I understand that it varies stat5e to state and it is also different for libel or slander?

Lawgirl :

The statute of limitations is 1 year. However, to the extent that he does not find out the content of the letter until recently, the statute may not start running until he discovered the content. Whether he can "toll" the statute of limitations to start running when he discovere the content of the letter would be a matter for the court to decide.

Customer:

I didn't write the letter, I just delivered it. I verbally complained to the CEO and COO that the work environment was hostile and two employees have given me letters to deliver with their own personal complaints.

Lawgirl :

If the statements were not in writing, it may be very difficult for him to prove exactly what you said. Making a statement that the work environment is hostile and discussing the fact that letters were given to you does not sound like it would be actionable under these circumstances. It sounds like much of the discussion was reiteration of the concerns of others and your interpretation of the situation given those facts.

Customer:

That is correct, this was 18 months ago at a sales conference.

Customer:

He was terminated two days later

Lawgirl :

It sounds like it would be very difficult for him to win in a defamation action. However, you never know what some people will try.

Customer:

Thank you for your oppinion.

Lawgirl :

No problem. Best of luck to you!

Lawgirl :

Please remember to hit "ACCEPT".

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