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I've been being what I consider harassed by someone in upper…

Customer Question
I've been being what...

I've been being what I consider harassed by someone in upper management at my place of employment for quite some time. It has recently come to my attention that this same person is spreading rumors (to the CEO even), that I am having an affair with one of my female co-workers. This is of course false and I am a married man. Is there any action I can take as I feel this has crossed the line?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Georgia

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Full time

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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9/26/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 9 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,241
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

There is probably not an effective legal solution to the sort of problem you describe. You could technically sue for defamation if you could prove that false statements about you are being made, but you would not be entitled to recover any damages (and thus would have no practical incentive to sue) unless you could connect the statements to actual financial losses, such as termination of your employment, which apparently has yet to occur and may very well never occur. The other practical problem with a defamation suit is that truth is an absolute defense to a claim for defamation. This means you'd essentially be having a public trial about whether you had an affair. It would draw much more attention to the allegation, and would be extremely invasive to you. Your phone records and emails would be subject to subpoena, as the other side would be entitled to this information to prove that their statements about you were true.

The best course of action in these situations is generally to get out ahead of the problem by going directly to the owner of the company and explaining that this particular manager has it out for you and that his allegations are false. There is no guarantee that this will be effective, but there is just simply no guarantee that anything will be effective since ultimately employment is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and as such can be terminated by the employer at any time for virtually any reason. You cannot force someone to continue employing you. All you can do is be as persuasive as possible, and navigate the political situation at your company as skillfully as possible, in order to minimize the possibility of adverse employment action being taken against you.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thought about that already. Can you answer me this. If I approach the CEO and he terminates my employment because of this there's no recourse either?
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Correct, unfortunately there would be no recourse under that circumstance because the complaint would not be something deemed to be "legally protected." Put another way, complaining does not somehow exempt you from at-will employment status, and you can still be terminated freely by your employer. I wish I had better news.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns.

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Was there anything else I can do for you?

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