Slander in the workplace can lead to a lot of unpleasantness and an employee’s reputation being irreparably damaged. If you have ever faced slander in your work environment and not known what to do about it, you are bound to have questions about fairness, your rights and the provisions of the law to protect you in such situations.
Listed below are a few slander-related questions answered frequently by Experts.
If you would like to sue someone for slander, you need to first prove that a verbal statement was made to a third party. Then, that the statement was false. Thirdly, that the person making the statement knew or should have known it was false. And finally, that the statement adversely affected the reputation of the person it was about. If you can prove all of this, then you can sue for slander. However, honest personal opinion cannot be considered slander.
Case Details: I work in New Jersey. I spoke to the management about it but wonder if I can legally do something about it?
In New Jersey, the law against discrimination does not allow for harassment or discrimination at the workplace based on an employee’s sexual orientation. From what you have described, your colleagues seem to be harassing you based on the perception that you are a homosexual. If your management has not taken steps to address this issue, you could file a complaint against them with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. More information is available at: http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/filing.html.
There is also a possibility that you could have a defamation claim against your coworkers. But harm done to your reputation is usually difficult to prove, and you might find it hard to hire a lawyer who would be ready to take on a case like yours on a contingency fee basis.
Case Details: I am a registered nurse for an agency in Florida, working at this hospital for a year with a clean record. Now, two doctors are making complaints to the Director of Nursing saying my appearance is unkempt, I rendered poor quality care, I lacked professionalism, and that I behaved poorly towards them. I have never even met or conversed with one of the complaining doctors. The other denied making a complaint. I have been forbidden to work here anymore.
In this case, since it doesn’t look like one doctor could have filed a complaint and the other one denies having done so, you might have a claim for defamation against the Director of Nursing. If you do this, the truth of what actually happened might come out.
Unfortunately, the state you are in is an employment “at will” state, which essentially means that you can be terminated for almost any reason. A few exceptions would include discrimination based on factors like age, race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, or filing a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, it is most unlikely that you could file for wrongful termination unless there was an employment contract in place.
You could consult with a local employment lawyer to view your case properly and help you file a defamation suit at the minimum.
Additional Question: Is there a time limit for the filing?
You can almost certainly file a lawsuit if defamatory comments were made against you. This would involve proving that false statements were made against you that caused injury. You have a one-year time frame to file suit.
Proving slander in the workplace requires specific proof points in order to legally establish and win a case. Getting Expert insights into your particular situation is one of the ways to determine the best course of action available to you.
I had 2 years with hospital successfully as needed pharmacist. I have letters of recommendations from doctors and previous director. An interim director came and asked me to increase my hours to 30 hrs weekly and was accommodating my recent disability and i am awaiting back surgery- i have those emails for increase hours and last check received a raise.right after that next interim sup came in on her 2nd day she screamed at me in front of other staff when i showed her a hospital procedure in a nice training way she was not following - she yelled that i was incompetent and should be fired- in front of staff. I have disability now and permanent The yelling sup knew of this and she is also is FB friends with Old VA director that i filled EEOC compliant - i resigned - he was terminated and EEOC went no where- no response from HR why i was incompetent and now i am removed from schedule- no job and she is bad mouthing me ( had reference check from friend calling) I told HR about her failure at reference check- i do not know why she acted as she did- my disability?, She hugged me in the am I told staff i was uncomfortable with, me pointing out in a very professional way because she was new our policy - which i guess she felt doesn't apply to her, because the job was offered to me first and i didn't take it but wished her the best, ***** ***** she was afraid i knew she most likely lied on her resume. I don't care but she has damaged my reputation and although i am still employed there she told my caller i was not employed in her department ( pharmacy) and since she verbal told everybody I should be fired and now i am not there. I asked for apology publicly to pharmacy staff and or explanation of why i was incompetent documented- i received nothing. this is a state run hospital now with a poor HR team- hr did not mind she took the two witness out to dinner and drinks that night etc. She is dangerous to the hospital. How do i get someone to do an outside investigation or pressure the hospital to take action - i am waiting for my 2nd back surgery now and have a disability advisor but i could work there with those accommodations she just removed me from schedule . Can i file some suit on my own just to get sworn statements from people so i can collect my reputation and maybe my job back- i have no incidents or nothing that night or never on my record. I need someone to pressure HR to do something or somehow get real testimony - she is a contractor but this hospital is desperate for a director . Last ? I thought of reporting her to risk management because of her behavior ( god complex) the protocol was not for her to follow of course and the Institiute for safe medicine i contacted and they agreed this behavior and fear in a department leads to medical errors and deaths gave me articles etc. Which is best advice? go to EEOC ? risk Management ? slander and defamation of character? discussing my previous EEOC case with VA? discussing my medical condition? I just can not prove all that need a reason for outside investigator
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.