The employment attorneys at Stavros Law can assist you with stopping your former or current employer from defaming you, or bringing a claim for defamation. In some situations if an employer makes false oral or written statements about you to a third-party, you may have a claim for defamation or libel against your employer. The employment attorneys at Stavros Law can assist you with your defamation or libel claim and protect your reputation from further damage, or recover damages for injuries sustained by you as a result of your employer's actions. In some situations, you can recover your losses, including emotional distress damages and punitive damages for your employer's wrongful conduct.
Often, defamation claims arise after your employment has been terminated. For example, your employer tells people who do not need to know that you were terminated for a false reason. Or, it tells a prospective employer that you were terminated for a reason that is false. However, defamation claims can also arise during your employment, and can be asserted against other employees as well as an employer.
Defamation claims can be difficult to prove, and direct and circumstantial evidence is important in proving a defamation claim. If your employer has made a false statement of act (not opinion) about you and the employer "publishes" (makes a statement to a third party that is not protected by a qualified or absolute privilege) and you have suffered harm as a result of the statement, you may have a defamation claim.
In the job context, defamation claims often arise after the employment relationship ends, or when a former employer is asked for a reference. In this situation, the employee claims that a former employer gave a false reference or another statement that damaged the employee’s reputation and/or hurt the employee’s chances of getting another job. Typically, the false statement is about the reasons why the employee was fired or the quality of the employee’s performance. However, in Utah and other states, the legislature has limited the situations in which an employer may be held liable for providing information to prospective employers.
In other situations, employment defamation claims may arise during an investigation into alleged workplace conduct or with respect to disciplinary action taken toward an employee. Often, defamation claims are asserted by employees along with other claims, such as wrongful termination, discrimination and/or breach of contract claims. In some situations, the defamatory may be presumed so harmful because the statement impugns a persons reputation in his profession. In these situations, the law may presume damages so that an employee need not prove special damages in order to prevail on his claim.
If you believe you have been the subject of defamation from a current or former employer, its critical to contact a lawyer immediately. There are numerous steps an attorney can take to preserve evidence, stop the defamation from continuing and preserve your rights to bring a claim to protect your reputation.
If you'd like to discuss your claim, please contact one of our employment lawyers at (801) 758-7604 or contact us online. We can set up an initial free telephone consultation with you and explore your case, see if you have a viable claim and develop a plan for protecting your reputation.
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Stavros Law P.C. is a Utah law firm providing legal services to individuals and businesses in Utah, the Mountain West and across the United States, including Salt Lake City, Draper, Sandy, South Jordan, West Jordan, Lehi, Provo, Orem and Spanish Fork. Our lawyers provide civil litigation, trial and appeal work to clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States. We provide litigation and counseling services for clients in the areas of business and commercial law, employment and labor law, health care law and family law.