Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. I’m very sorry to hear about this situation. You may have a claim for defamation against your employee for their actions. Defamation is basically a false and defamatory statement, published to a third party, that causes harm (usually a lessened reputation in the community, lost business opportunity, or other harms as the facts dictate.) Now, keep in mind that because they filed an EEOC claim, you can’t retaliate. However, if they are spreading rumors that are damaging to you, then you could sue for defamation.
Against your employer, this appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing. Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward the other can result in a breach of contract. Basically, if they never give you a chance to defend yourself consistent with the employee handbook, then it’s a breach. To facilitate your situation, there’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract (click here). It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If you send this letter and they do not respond, then you may want to consider bringing a lawsuit after that because it will be clear they will not be willing to settle the issue.