Can my daughter file a defermation suit against a employees family member?

My daughter works for a retail store as a tech. She works with a girl who is lazy, calls in sick and always complaining. The store called my daughter to come in and fill in for a few hours to help out. After the she did her three hours she said she is leaving. the pregnant girl called her mother and complained that she is left alone to do all the work. The pregnant girls mother called in a complaint to the store stating, "the pregnant girl was running around doing all the work, while the other two employees were texting on their phones." We have proof that this is not true because I pulled up my daughters phone records and there was no phone/data usage at that time. The girls mother continues to come into the store, not buy anything but walk around the pharmacy counter just looking for reasons to complain. My daughters boss has tried calling this women but she will not answer the phone. The even tried calling her while she was in the store, she looks at her phone but does not answer. Is this harassment and can we do anything about it

1 answer  |  asked Jun 5, 2016 08:25 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

V Jonas Urba
Probably not.

However, New York has very strong laws which protect any person who is subject to abuse by another person. Although the "Order of Protection" is usually seen in the intimate relationship and family law arenas, it can appear at the workplace.

Since there is likely video of the mother "loitering" in the store, the mother may be interfering with her own daughter's ability to do her job. The store manager should gather some of the recent video and if, after being politely informed that her presence may interfere with her daughter's ability to perform her job the police might be called to politely remind the mother that her daughter needs to work without her mother's interference. The next step would be for the police to issue the mother a warning not to loiter in the store while the daughter is working or to do her shopping at times when the daughter is not working.

If all of this fails then anyone the mother potentially assaults or threatens may apply for an Order of Protection (store manager, any employee who feels threatened, etc...) and of course, if the employee/daughter is counseled and asked that her mother not loiter in the store there is nothing that would prevent the pregnant daughter from losing her own job.

Although pregnant employees are considered "disabled" or "protected" for many purposes in New York they must still be able to perform their jobs with or without reasonable accommodations. If the pregnant daughter's mother interferes with the daughter's job and the mother refuses to stay away then the daughter could lose her job.

Get the store's management involved, the police, and if necessary, the court. Management may want to warn the daughter that fraternizing with family, whether directly or indirectly, while at work is not acceptable. Once the mother knows that the daughter might lose her job, you would hope that a reasonable mind would stay away from the store. Unless, of course, the mother wants the daughter to get fired for some other purpose which is beyond the scope of this post. Good luck. Go through management with the help of police and courts.

posted by V Jonas Urba  |  Jun 5, 2016 2:32 PM [EST]

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