Slander in the office

Two employees that work for a private company which I also work at are slandering me in and out of the work place. They claim that I leaked pertinent information to a vender allowing competition into their deal. This claim it denied. This accusation is causing me to be sick, to be distracted, and I feel is hurting my reputation and chances for advancement with in the same company.

I have asked management for support in receiving the flowing: For internal and extrnal communications to stop regarding this issue, for an apology from these two employees in writting and within the sales offices.

Management is addressing the situation by setting--up a meeting to help resolve this problem in a few hours.

Please advise.

1 answer  |  asked Oct 18, 2001 10:17 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Accused of leaking sensitive information

Defamation is not an easy thing to prove in NY State. Just to begin a lawsuit, you need to know who said something defamatory. You also need to know, word for word, what they said.

Further, simply because someone says something nasty about you does not mean that it is defamation. If it expresses an opinion about you, it is not defamation. If it says what appears to be factual information about you or what you have purported done, it might be defamation.

Even if we assume it is defamation, it might be protected. In other words, even though a statement might be defamatory, whether you can do something about it depends on to whome the statement was made. For example, if the statement pertained to your work, and it was said to your employer, there is a good chance that you would not be able to do anything about it because there is a good chance that the statement would be considered to be privileged.

This meeting that your employer is setting up might be an example of mediation, but there is no way for me to know for sure. In a sense, mediation is a non-legal process, although legal issues can figure prominently in mediations. It is a fairly informal means of addressing and resolving disputes. If done right, it can be a very rewarding process which can lead to very creative solutions to various kinds of problems. It isn't unusual for lawyers to be involved in mediations.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Oct 19, 2001 10:36 AM [EST]

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