Hi, Taylor, Thank you for your additional information and my apologies for any delay, but I research each customer's question because I do not give "stock" Answers, we very often help several customers simultaneously, and it takes a little time to compose an Answer for each customer,
I am glad you understand the importance of written Employment Agreements and "At Will' employment relationships and the absence of such an Agreement, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to win a wrongful termination case.
With respect to slander (spoken), libel (written false statements) - There are four (4) elements which a Plaintiff must prove in all actions for slander, libel and defamation of character:
1. The defendant made statements that were false;
2. The defendant made the false statements knowing that they were false, or made in reckless disregard of whether they were true or false;
3. The defendant made these false statements to a third party; and
4. The Plaintiff suffered damages
"Also because they gave a false report to the unemployment office shouldn't I be entitled to something."
Your question is a good one and is certainly valid. But, the law on defamation of character addresses that issue in the fourth element that a Plaintiff must prove if he or she is going to win their lawsuit. The Plaintiff must prove damages, that he or she suffered measurable damages. For example, if you had applied to say, 10 jobs in the last month and when these prospective employers called your former employer, he would give a bad recommendation and say things like, "he does not finish his projects", "he is unreliable", he is always late coming in to work, etc., and these comments caused these prospective employers not to extend offers of employment to you, these are damages which can be "measured" and one would not have to "guess" as to what your damages are. Another defense which is recognized in lawsuits arising from a termination of employment is that statements made by any employer are subjective, they are the employer's perception of the employee and it is, therefore, very difficult to prove the second element of a defamation lawsuit - that the defendant made the false statements knowing they were false , or in reckless disregard for the truth. One last comment on the element of damages in your situation, or in any situation where unemployment compensation benefits have been denied - When the employee files an Appeal of the denial of unemployment compesation benefits and wins, the employee receives all his unemployment compensation benefits retroactively. Therefore, the Court holds that the employee/Plaintiff did not satisfy the fourth element, i.e. did not sustain damages. I agree that it is not fair and it is not right to have former employers and other individuals spreading false statements without any fear that they might incur some kind of penalty, especially if these false statements might or could damage one's name and reputation in their professional community, but until the law is changed, this is what we have to live with,
I wish I could give you the Answer you were hoping for, and it would have given me great pleasure to do so, but I have an ethical obligation to you to give you only correct Answers, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the law applicable to your situation against me.
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