Can I sue individuals for slander or defamation of character for making false statements if I lost my job? 21 Answers as of June 20, 2013

I was informed that a few individuals made statements about my character and work ethic that were false and now it cost me a job. The statements that were made have no back-up of proof and management never approached me in regards to these statements. Can I sue for slander or defamation of character?

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Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Yes, but you will not be successful if they can prove the statements were true.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 1/19/2012
The Olawale Law Firm | Emmanuel Olawale
Yes, you may sue as long as you can show the untruthfulness of the statements, the malice behind them and the damages suffered as a proximate result of the slander.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/19/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Yes. But you'll have to find a lawyer interested in taking your case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/19/2012
Paris Blank LLP
Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
You can, but can you collect if you win? That is the question you need to answer.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 1/19/2012
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
Defamation of character is comprised of false, defamatory statements made to third parties causing damages to you. If you decide to sue on that basis, you would have the burden of proving your allegations by a preponderance of the evidence.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/19/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Go see an attorney. These cases are very, very fact specific and no all of them are worthwhile. A truthful statement is an absolute defense. Your loss of the job must be directly connected to have any serious damages.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    The short answer to your question is "maybe" depending on what was said about you and whether you can prove those statements caused you to be fired. Libel involves a written statement while slander is oral. Both libel and slander are forms of "defamation." To win a case involving defamation the first thing is that the statements must be false. Second, for a statement to be defamatory it must be an assertion of a fact, not an opinion. The statement must have some standard to measure to determine whether it is true or false to be defamatory. For example, if someone said you were a "not a very nice person" then that would not be defamatory as it would it would be opinion rather than a fact as it could not be proven true or false; each person would have their own opinion about how nice you were. Some statements are automatically considered defamatory if they relate to: (1) the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude; (2) an infectious disease; (3) unfitness to perform the duties of an office or employment; (4) prejudice one in his or her profession or trade; or (5) tend to disinherit you. Again, statements involving these items must be false for you to be able to win a defamation case. There are some other elements you must be able to prove to win a defamation case. However, they are rather complicated and difficult to explain in an email. From the information you provided I cannot tell you whether you have a defamation case against the individuals. You might have a case as you indicate the comments involve your "work ethic," which may involve items 3 or 4 listed in the preceding paragraph. It really depends on exactly what was said.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Yes. You will have to prove that the statements were made (who made them, when, what was said, etc.) and that the statements were false. The fact that you lost your job is evidence of the damage. If the statements relate to your professional conduct that is called slander per se and no evidence of actual damages are required, but you losing your job would show damage anyway. Don't try to do this yourself. Get a lawyer who knows and understands libel/slander law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Yes, but hurry. You have 6 mos for slander (oral statements) and 1 year for libel (if in writing).
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You can sue for those things, but there are two things you should keep in mind. First, if the individuals believed the things to be true, you will probably not do well at trial. Second, if those individuals do not have much money, you will probably never collect a penny from them even if you win at trial. They can simply declare bankruptcy and your judgment against them will be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    From the information given here, I'd say "yes". But you need a lawyer in your area who is experienced in these kinds of cases.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
    Colorado is an employment-at-will state. Your employer can fire you without any reason at all. There are exceptions to the policy, but they are limited. If you try to pursue a claim, you will have the burden of proof to show that your dismissal was racially related. It is a very tough burden to bear.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Maybe. Such suits are very difficult to win. You will need to speak to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Goodman & Goodman PA | Bruce Elliott Goodman
    If coworkers made false statements against you that resulted in you being fired you can sue those coworkers for defamation of character.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    How can you prove that those statements were the reason your employer fired you?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/20/2013
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Yes. If you can totally prove the statements were false and they knew they were false or fabricated, then sue them yourself in Justice Court. Call your county courthouse and see if they have lawsuit complaint forms on line. You can sue for up to $13000, which should more than cover the damage. Good Luck. Collecting on a judgment is the next step but if these people have regular jobs, you can get it from their paychecks.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    You may be able to sue the individuals that made the false statements. It is unlikely you can sue the former employer. To be slander, the statements must have been uttered as statements of fact - and not just personal opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Gilbert & Bourke, LLP | Brian J. Bourke
    You may have a case and you did sustain damages in the loss of your job.. You should consult with an attorney who specializes in these types of claims.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You can sue the person who made the statements, but I don't know if you have a cause of action against your employer for firing you without doing any due diligence to determine the truthfulness of the statements made about you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/19/2012
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