California Employment Law

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My Officemate is accusing me of getting her lipstick and Breast

pump ( tube) . It...
My Officemate is accusing me of getting her lipstick and Breast pump ( tube) . It was brought to my attention by my supervisor and CEO. I was shock that she went to them directly for with out asking me. We share the same office room. She said it was sometime June when she lost her breast pump tube and I remember asking me. I told her I don't know where She left it. The lipstick according to my supervisor happen recentlyi s in her purse she was about to use it was gone. My supervisor and CEO said thy are investigating because there is a formal complaint. Now I want to write a formal complaint to my supervisor and CEO demanding apology from my co-worker for accusing me with out any basis aside from my being her room mate in he office. Can I do that? Or should I say is it the right thing to do?
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
9/13/2013
LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37,857
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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Good afternoon Maripaz,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You can do more than just complain internally about the false allegations of fact she made against you to the company---though you should file a complaint against her, but perhaps stop short of demanding that the employer force her to apologize. You may also sue her in court for Defamation.

From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.

In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.

The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:

1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.

2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.

3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.

4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.

In the non-business setting, where is it not your business which has been defamed, most cases involving defamation can be appropriately handled in your local small claims court. Filing your lawsuit is easy, and your case will typically be heard in 30 to 60 days.


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If you have additional questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in your future.

Doug

LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37,857
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Maripaz. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.

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