My boss told two other co-worker that I am on LSD and Acid. I am the office manager for his office. Do I have a claim?

I work for a small Chiropractic office. I am the office manager in charge of 2 other staff members. As of late the owner (Chiropractor) has been making very insensitive statements to the other staff members. Just yesterday, he stated that " I am on Acid or LSD". I have one of the staff members willing to write a statement and there are cameras with audio. I just need to know should I continue to deal with my current hostile environment? Do I have a case? and Should I quit?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 24, 2016 11:55 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
Good grief. Surely you realize this is not normal behavior. This is not a healthy, stable workplace. I suggest you start looking for another job immediately.

Assuming you were not on acid at the time the employer made the statements and assuming the statements were made as factual statements ("This employee is on LSD") as opposed to a statement of opinion ("It looks like/I think that this employee is on LSD"), then you might have a claim for defamation.

Defamation can be libel (written) or slander (oral).

Generally, defamation is a false and unprivileged statement which exposes a person to hatred, contempt, ridicule or injury, or which causes the person to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure the person in his or her occupation. Some kinds of defamation require the plaintiff to prove actual harm. Other kinds of defamation constitute defamation per se, which means harm is assumed due to the nature of the defamation.

If you have not been harmed by these statements – your coworkers don't believe the statements, for example – even if your employer defamed you, you will not have any damages. If you do not have damages, the only suit that makes sense is an injunction requiring the employer to stop making these statements. You will have to pay an attorney to represent you in this action.

If you resign due to these statements, you might be entitled to unemployment benefits. You should consult with an attorney before taking this step.

I urge you to look for another job.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Oct 29, 2016 2:43 PM [EST]

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