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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116834
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Annually, the conducts an exit interview of stuidents who

Customer Question

Annually, the Dean conducts an exit interview of stuidents who are graduating . This year he asked 17 questions. There were 35 students and 25 chose to participate. In previous years he would allude to comments in general about areas of improvement in a staff meeting. However, no names or disciplines were mentioned.
JA: OK. To minimize me, please click the down arrow at the top right corner of this box.
Customer: This year he specifically send out an email to all faculty within the school. He named faculty in terms of when there was negativity with names of professors and in some cases the professors. He also mentioned that it took longer since he had to transcribe this. The professors he mentioned in particular were older. Questions that I have is this defamation of character, age discrimination,, did he violate rules in terms of having a recorder and what if he had the recorder and students did not sign a waiver, along wtih via email with names to me become a document that easily could be passed along . Given all the incidents with email.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state you're in?
Customer: Yes, I am in Florida.
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: I am full -time professor of 15 years and two other professors are 18 years and 30 years along with a few part-time professors. I believe the Florida law is an at will law.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

There is no right to privacy regarding consumer comments I am afraid. Students are consumers. In fact, some schools even have teacher review pages where students can post these reviews naming specific teachers and the bad or good about them. This is not unlawful conduct. Also, it is not an educational record under FERPA as an exit survey. It is only defamation of character if the students made known false statements about the professors, then the professors can sue the students who made the known false statements for defamation (libel) for those known false statements. It is not defamation if a person gives their opinion that could be drawn by a reasonable person under the same facts, the statement must be proven to have been known to be false at the time it was made.

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