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I had two coworkers who went to my boss and accused me of…

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I had two coworkers...

I had two coworkers who went to my boss and accused me of using drugs at work. My employer did not approach me until they pulled me in for a drug test. The allegations were completely false and I passed the test with flying colors. All of it was MESSED UP since it was completely made up information, BUT the part I want to know about is the fact that the two coworkers were talking to others at work about how I was put onto administrative leave BEFORE I was even approached by my employer or even took the test...I was out sick on a Monday, they told everyone at work I was out and not allowed at work anymore because I was on admin leave, I came back from being sick on that Wednesday and was not actually put on it until that Thursday...I want to know EVERY way I can sue these people.

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

Indiana

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

Um..I'm at teacher, not sure what any of that means.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I think that's everything. The head of HR said my drug testing and administrative leave were all confidential, but I received text messages and contact from people around the city asking me about it... AKA the lies were spread even outside of my workplace

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 13 hours by:
12/2/2017
Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
lawyerJ
lawyerJ, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 177
Experience: Attorney
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Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm a licensed attorney. I'm reviewing your question and will respond shortly. Please note, all information is provided for educational purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

So essentially the suit you would be looking at here would be involving defamation. However, in order to prove a defamation case, you have to demonstrate actual damages. That means that you would have to prove that the statements spread by these gossipy co-workers caused you loss of reputation that affected you financially. It would be difficult to demonstrate as you retained your job and source of income. If you can show that the defamatory statements caused you loss of opportunity (i.e. if you do side work as tutor and these statements stopped people from hiring you, or you were looking for other employment and these statements stopped employers from hiring you) then you would be able to prove up a case for defamation.

As it stands, what you could do is serve these people with a cease and desist letter, stating that they must cease these discussions in public and retract statements made to any potential future employers or else face a potential defamation lawsuit. Usually, the threat that a cease and desist letter will stop the perpetrator in their tracks, while preventing you from having to go through the steps of filing a defamation lawsuit that may or may not prove financially beneficial to you. The general form of those letters are (Dear Mr. _____: It has come to my attention that you have been spreading false statements about the administrative procedures I have gone through at ______. These false statements constitute defamation, as they damage my ability as an employable educator. If you do not (a) cease these defamatory statements, and (b) issue retractions to those you have made them to, I may be forced to file a defamation lawsuit against you.)

If I've fully answered your question, I'd appreciate a five-star rating. If not, please let me know how else I can assist you.

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Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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