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Is your current or former employer defaming you?

It is not uncommon to have a bad relationship with your current or former employer. Sometimes, work environments are not positive or healthy. But if this employer is going so far as to make false statements and spread rumors about you, you may have the opportunity to take legal action against this person. 

The law protects you against defamation. If your employer ruins your reputation because of lies, you may be able to sue him or her for financial losses and emotional distress. Here are some guidelines to determine if you have a legal case against your employer.

Understanding defamation

First, it is vital to have a basic understanding of defamation. There are two kinds of defamatory statements:

  1. Libel: a written statement
  2. Slander: an oral statement

Your current or former employer may spread false information about you to damage your career or personal life. This person may want to hurt your chances of getting a promotion or another job. 

Interestingly, defamation is not a crime. Instead, it is a tort, which is a term for civil wrongdoing, rather than criminal wrongdoing. Defamation laws try to strike a balance between protecting freedom of speech and preserving reputations. 

Proving defamation

Each workplace defamation case is unique, but there are some common components of every case. These are a few elements of successful defamation claims:

  • Other people see or hear the statement through social media, email, gossip, speeches, television or any other form of communication.
  • The statement is a lie.
  • The statement causes harm to you, such as losing work opportunities, facing harassment by the media or getting shunned by friends or family members.

You should gather all the evidence you have so you can build a viable case of defamation. You should not need to put up with someone spreading damaging lies about them. If you are suffering due to false statements, consider what legal action you can take.

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