CAn I sue my boss for slander and defamation of character? 25 Answers as of June 13, 2013

I was working for a company for 2 years. The company sold out to another where I had to fill out another application and be hired through them. I ended up putting my 2 weeks notice in. All the while the new manager which was the co-worker prior was going around saying how hard of a worker I was. Then when the 2 weeks were over and I had applied for another job the story changed. When the new boss went in for a reference she told him no she wouldn't hire me and had some really bad things to say. The new owner thinks that I am not able to sue him even though his employee made these said comments in front of other witnesses and my new boss along with on camera. Do I have a case? She has also gone to my place of business and slandered me while I was working calling me choice words and getting kicked out of this business for a few days.

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Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Yes. You may have a case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/27/2012
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Generally speaking the economic losses over one job would not justify a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
A defamation claim against a former employer can be very hard to prove, but it is not impossible. This is particularly true if your employer went to your place of employment and made defamatory comments without being asked his or her opinion about anything. It will be much harder to prove defamation in the case where someone went to your former boss and asked for a reference. You will need to prove malice in that case. That is extremely difficult to prove, but not impossible. While liability may exist, you should ask yourself if the amount of damages you have suffered make a lawsuit cost-effective. Note also that if your former employer continues to go to your new place of work, you may have claims for stalking and/or civil harassment. I would definitely speak to a lawyer about this, if only for a brief consultation, to see what rights you have.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/27/2012
Toivonen Law Office | John Toivonen
Defamation occurs when a person communicates information to another person that is false and is likely to harm your reputation. Then we have to ask what are the damages, and is the Defendant collectible? In other words how much are we suing for, and does the Defendant have any money? If the Defendant does not have money, some people will sue based on the moral principle.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/27/2012
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You can sue anyone if what they say about you is untrue. If it is true that is another matter.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 8/27/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You may have a defamation claim, but you have not said specifically what was said about you. If they were truly false statements, then you have a claim. But if they were merely opinions of your work, that would not be defamatory as opinions cannot form the basis of libel or slander (i.e., defamation). If I said you were "a dishonest person" that would not be actionable. But If I said you stole paper from the supply room and are a dishonest employee, that would be actionable because it is a verifiable fact of whether or not you stole the paper. So if her comments are on video and they are factually based and false, then you probably have a claim. But to prove damages, you would have to show her comments caused you not to get re-hired. It may be difficult to get new management to admit that you were not hired based on her comments, even though you firmly believe that is the reason. You still have to prove it. You need to consult with an Employment Attorney right away to ascertain all of your rights on this matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It depends on a lot of things. If the new boss hired you anyway, and thinks no less of you despite the defamatory comments, then there is a question of what are your damages? You still have to prove how you have been damages. Second, you do not tell me exactly what was said other than "she wouldn't hire you". It is difficult to sue for slander for statements of opinion, as opposed to statements of fact. For example if she said you didn't do a good job, this is an opinion and it is hard to prove it is true or false. If she said you stole, or were habitually tardy, these things are either true or false. Technically, since what she said was in the course of employment, the owner would be liable for any slander she committed.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Behren Law Firm
    Behren Law Firm | Scott Behren
    Yes probably. The question would be though what are your damages?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    You must prove damages which is very difficult in my view.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    False, defamatory statements can really hurt. You should speak with an attorney regarding the particular circumstances of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Cale Plamann | Cale Plamann
    It really depends upon what was said. There is leeway given to employers regarding slander/libel when the employer's statements are used for references/human resource purposes. That said, if you arguably show that the previous boss is going out of their way to harm you and that they are saying things they know or believe to be false in order to do so, you might have a case. Also the coming to your workplace and saying negative things about you unsolicited is a point in your favor. Basically, I'd need to hear more about your case to tell you if you have a good case, but you are enough in the grey area that it might be worth checking out (of course, what you would be able to recover is another question that would require a lot more information).
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
    Yes, you may sue for slander, but you are not likely to win. There are special rules governing employment references. Unless they were made with actual malice, they are privileged, and may not be the basis for slander.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Law Office of Russell J. Thomas, Jr. | Russell J. Thomas, Jr.
    Yes; in addition you may be able to recover 3 times the amount of your actual damages if you can prove that your former employer made these statements to prevent you from obtaining new employment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    To win you have to prove economic damages. What are your damages?
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    NO you can sue the jerk (boss). Slander and defamation. He has some protection(s) per the applications BUT NOT if they are false in nature. You'll have to PROVE this of course. But you CAN sue him and depose him under oath. You'll have your witnesses. Right? You'll NEED some witnesses here.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You may if there is a sufficient ground for bring a defamation action. However, you should first consult with a lawyer who handles slander and other defamation cases for specific legal advice and direction.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    You might, but you will have to get the evidence together, with affidavits from witnesses as to exactly what was said, to whom and when and you would have to prove that you did not get the job because of this conduct. Also, the statements have to be lies, not just opinions or interpretations of fact.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Steven Miller | Steven Miller
    Truth is an excuse. Now if you can prove that which was said lowers your reputation in the community (slander), then you can sue for damages. The next issue is what is your damages? Did it prevent you from getting another job (e.g. this job)? How much has it cost you? But bottom line is, yes if you were slandered and suffered damage, you can sue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP
    Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP | Navid Yadegar
    A false factual statement about somebody may give rise to defamation claim. There are two types of defamation - slander (or oral defamation) and libel (or written defamation). Libel includes communications that exposes a person to hatred, contempt, ridicule or humiliation or be injured in her occupation. Slanderous language includes false statements that charge a person with a crime; imply that a person has a contagious disease; injure a person in their occupation; or imply impotence or lack of chastity. There are various defenses to defamation claims, some of which are based on the Constitutional right to free speech. We have substantial expertise in this area, and in both prosecuting and defending libel and slander claims.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I need more information. Normally giving an opinion of making a judgment is not actionable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Yes. Must prove damages. Lucky if a lawyer takes it.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    In order to answer this question, a lawyer needs to know the exact words that were used to defame and/or slander you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/27/2012
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