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I was recently terminated as a liaison to a major hospital

chain because of what a...
I was recently terminated as a liaison to a major hospital chain because of what a customer stated to my employer and coworkers. This was based on her personal opinion of me after a misunderstanding with a different company. She holds a supervisory position within the Social work department. She specifically stated she would not work with me no matter what company I worked for and this was related to her subordinates who are the basis of call points for referrals within this medical community.
It was stated at my termination that the above situation because of the statement of this Social worker at this hospital I could not continue my employment. I had had no contact with her in my capacity in this position.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
7/10/2013
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,431
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Did you have a contract of employment stating that you could only be terminated for cause?

What is your specific question today?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I was an at will employee.


 


My question is: this is the second time I have had issues with this specific individual affecting my ability to make a living in my field of medical sales/consulting with different companies. Her statement has cost me the ability to earn a living in an area I have been in for 10 years. This is The Ohio State University Medical Center, the largest hospital system in the area. It is also a #1 target for medical sales organizations looking for patient referrals of all types.


This SW because of her statement to my employer/coworkers has left me out of work (possibly for the second time) because of her opinion of me and a statement she said I made to her which never took place.


 


Am I now supposed to go drive a truck? The medical sales/consultant community is small enough that getting another position has become difficult.


 


Do I have a case of slander?

Ok. I need you to be more specific about what she has said.

From your original facts, all that you've stated that she said is "I will not work with him no matter what company he works with."

Is that the sum of her statements?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


yes that is what was related back to me. the employer felt because of her position within the hospital system it was not a situation that could be resolved.

Ok. Here is the problem. An opinion statement is not slander. For something to be slander or defamation of character, it has to be a statement of fact that is also false (and causes you harm, but that part is clearly present, so we won't discuss it further).

Now, she is obviously making a statement to third parties. Others are hearing what she is saying. That's another element.

So, the entire question of whether or not you have a defamation of character claim is what exactly her statements have been. If she is simply saying "I don't think that person is good to work with (opinion statement) and I will not do so (fact statement that is true)" that is not defamation of character. The first statement is an opinion. The second statement is true. She won't work with you. That's not a false statement.

Remember, slander must be false and a statement of fact. For example, if she said that you raped a girl in 1980 and that is why she doesn't want to work with you, THEN you have a statement fact rather than opinion which is also a false statement.

Now, you mentioned a statement that she says you made to her, which you are saying you did not. If she is telling people this specific statement that you did not make to her THAT is defamation, because she is making a positive assertion (he said this thing) and it is false (at least, you have said it is false). That would be the basis for a defamation suit.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Ok,


 


As a liaison for a hospice company I said to her, "If you have anyone in need of hospice services please let me know I can help you with that"


 


She is told my employer I said "If you have anyone dying call me"


 


I would be an idiot to say something like that as a person, an RN and especially as a rep for a Hospice company to a SW in a cancer center.


 


I just want to know if this is worth any additional effort as I am not looking to file some frivolous law suit. but have been advised to look into it.


 


thanks for your time.

Yes, that is significantlly different. If she is telling people that you said that, and that is the reason you are being terminated, you can sue her directly for defamation of character.

Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,431
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Allen M., Esq.
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Category: Employment Law
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