Los Angeles Defamation Lawyer
What Is Workplace Defamation?
Defamation is any false statements made with the intention of harming another person’s reputation. This is illegal. When it happens at work, employees need to know their rights and options for legal recourse. Defamation is a crime and has the potential to ruin an individual’s reputation or personal relationships. Defamation claims are serious, so it is vital for individuals to secure reliable legal representation. Contact a Los Angeles defamation lawyer at Mathew & George to learn more.
Defining Defamation in the Workplace
Defamation takes two forms: libel and slander.
- Libel describes any written defamation
- Slander describes verbal defamation
Both can potentially harm the targeted individual’s reputation, and as such, both carry severe penalties. Defamation in the workplace is most commonly attributed to false information about the circumstances of a former employee’s departure or termination from the organization. As a result, this can hurt the person’s employment chances at another job and can cause quantifiable harm.
There are a few other important considerations you should take into account when it comes to defamation. First of all, an opinion does not count as defamation. In order for a court to consider comments defamatory, they must be an assertion of fact. That means that the person saying or writing the comments must present them as truth and not personal opinion.
Additionally, the defamatory comments must be published. “Published” in this sense does not necessarily mean printed or released en masse – it simply means that there has to have been an audience for the comments. Comments made privately between two individuals do not count. The comments must cause harm or influence to others aside from the people making and receiving the comments in order to meet the criteria for defamation.
Defamation in the workplace is a personal injury. It is an intentional act that results in harm or damage. This means you can pursue a Los Angeles defamation lawsuit against an employer or coworker who makes or has made defamatory comments about you. However, you must be able to prove that the comments resulted in measurable harm, such as:
- Jeopardizing the person’s future employment
- Harming the person’s employment chances elsewhere
- Degrading the person’s relationships with coworkers, supervisors, peers in the individual’s field, business partners, or customers
Defenses Against Los Angeles Workplace Defamation Claims
There are four common defenses an employer may try to use in response to a defamation lawsuit:
- Privilege – Privilege pertains to employers making statements during legal proceedings or official statements. It can also include any comments made in good faith, such as an employee performance review.
- Consent – If an employee gives his or her employer consent to make the statements in question, then the employer is immune from liability.
- Truth – If the statement is accurate, it cannot be considered defamation.
- Opinion – Defamation is a statement of fact, therefore an opinion cannot be defamatory.
Hiring a Los Angeles Defamation Attorney
A skilled Los Angeles employment attorney will be a tremendous asset in a workplace defamation case. If an untruthful employer has damaged your reputation or your chances of securing a new position, the responsible party should be held accountable for these actions. The defamation attorneys at Mathew & George represent clients in the Los Angeles area for all manner of employment lawsuits. We have the experience and resources to handle any type of workplace defamation case.
If you have been affected by workplace defamation, contact us. Our initial consultation is free of charge and has no obligation. We’ll review the details and let you know if your situation merits a lawsuit. If it does, we’ll let you know how we can help.