The owner of a company that emailed my GM intimating that I am homophobic. Is this defamation?

The owner of the company, Michael J. Wilson, that runs the WINTER RENDEZVOUS Jan 20-24, 2016 Gay Ski Week - Stowe, Vermont visited our hotel lobby for less than 3 minutes. There was no communication other than a hello, and me indicating that I would let our GM know that he had stopped by to visit.

A few days later, my General Manager, questioned/confronted me about an email Mr. Wilson had sent him. The gist of the email was that Mr. Wilson felt I was a homophobe and treated him badly once I knew that he was the organizer for e gay event.

I feel this has created a negative perception of me in the eyes of my employer. I am an open-minded person and feel genuinely offended. More importantly, this is a small town and I'm afraid that my reputation has been harmed, especially if Mr. Wilson is recounting his story to others.

1 answer  |  asked Jan 19, 2016 1:53 PM [EST]  |  applies to Vermont

Answers (1)

Roger E. Kohn
In theory you have a claim against Mr. Wilson for defamation (slander) if what was said about you was untrue. As a practical matter, there is probably nothing you can do except explain the situation to your employer.

Bringing a claim against Mr. Wilson would not likely be cost-justified, and complaining to him would likely get back to your employer and cause more trouble.

BUT if you find that Mr. Wilson continues to make such comments about you, hiring a lawyer to write him and threaten him with a defamation claim would probably get him to stop.

And if you are fired, the situation is different, and you should explore your remedies with an employment lawyer.

posted by Roger E. Kohn  |  Jan 19, 2016 7:23 PM [EST]

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