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.
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.
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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 his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.
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.
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