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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 102162
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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I manage a hotel that the owner is very involved everyday.

Customer Question

I manage a hotel that the owner is very involved everyday. She does not like many people and talks very bad about them to other hourly employees. We have a management company and we had a conference call to discuss some issues we are having. Last spring when the owner was gone for 3 weeks I had to use the petty cash fund to purchase supplies for the hotel and left all the receipts in the safe, when she returned she took the receipts and never replaced the money. We had a conference call with 5 management company officers, the owner and myself. The owner and I were in the same room. When she was asked why I do not have a petty cash fund anymore she said because I stole the money before and she would not give me anymore money. A fact that should be noted that while she was gone I asked my boss to verify the safe while he was here and he did. It was all receipts and not cash at all. I feel I have been slandered and have 5 people that heard her accuse me. She has also accused others of stealing to me as well as calling other employees drug addicts, all no merit to them at all. Do I have a case for slander?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Well arguably, yes, one does.

Slander is verbal defamation. Under New York law, the elements of a defamation claim are: a false statement; published to a third party without privilege or authorization; with fault amounting to at least negligence; that caused special harm or defamation per se (meaning accusation of a crime, for example). See Dillon v. City of New York, 261 A.D.2d 34, 38 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept. 1999).

As such, an accusation of theft to a third party is slander. So yes, there is a case, although you should realize that filing this would of course likely end the employer/employee relationship.

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