A coworker was disciplined and quit. Now they are trying to blame me and ruin my professional reputation. Cease and desist...?

Asked 10 months ago - Denver, CO

I work in a very small professional field, where reputation means everything and word spreads like wild fire. A coworker was put on suspension pending investigation and quit the next day. I'm not sure of the reason, but have heard it was a financial/billing issue. I am now being told I was involved in a "conspiracy" to get rid of the individual. Now the individual is calling colleagues and spreading word that I was involved. I have been told by the institution, that the individual is aware of why they were being disciplined. Since I had nothing to do with it and they have been told the reason, which has nothing to do with me, I feel they are trying to "black ball" me. What can I do? Sue, cease and desist...anything? I feel this could hurt me professionally.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Richard Waldron Bryans Jr.

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Due to the nature of the problem and the vagueness of the description, this online forum may not be the most appropriate place for you to make your inquiry. You should probably contact an employment litigation attorney to have a private consultation about the problem and what your range of remedies might be.

    The information provided in this answer is only general shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship.
  2. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Bryans. This requires a sit-down consultation with an excellent employment law attorney. I strongly suggest Mr. Bryans.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in... more
  3. Jack Richard Lebowitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Who is the they that is trying to "blackball" you?

    I agree with the others that you should hire an employment attorney as soon as possible and avoid discussing the matter online if indeed your concern is rumors spreading within a closely knit and gossip prone professional field.

    However, I would go one step further and suggest this attorney do something immediate and private (i.e., NOT filing a lawsuit where records are public) such as sending a letter by trackable overnight delivery to this person saying "I represent X who had nothing to do with your firing but is concerned that you believe he did and are spreading false statements to third persons in a manner which is damaging to your reputation and could cause you economic loss. Inform him of the legal elements of "defamation" and tell him that if he persists in discussing you in connection with the matter, you will not hesitate to commence a civil action for an injunction and money damages resulting from his defamatory speech". Perhaps offer to meet with this person and discuss any grievance he may have and set the record straight.

    That should probably cool his jets and an attorney should only charge a few hundred dollars for writing such a "demand" letter.

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states... more

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