I was forced to resign under duress 11 years ago. Now I have applied for a new job, and the employer is accusing me of theft, and that is the reason I was forced to resign. They never pressed charges, and I was given unemployment. Can I sue them for slander if I do not get the new job?
Medical Malpractice Attorney
Only if there is absolutely no truth to the accusation. And even then, proving it is not as easy as it may appear and it will be EXPENSIVE. Consult a defamation law attorney for further clarity.
The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.
Family Law Attorney
Suing your former employer would probably be an uphill battle. You should consider contacting an attorney about writing a cease and desist letter to your former employer on your behalf, which could make the employer think twice the next time they receive an employment verification request.
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Employee Benefits Lawyer
In Texas, a former employer can communicate with current or potential employers regarding a person's conduct or work history. Chapter 103 of the Texas Labor Code protects former employers against defamation lawsuits based upon job references, so long as the employer does not knowingly report false information. However, if the former employer says anything false with the intention of damaging the former employee’s business reputation or employability, that employer may be committing libel and slander. That employer may also be tortiously interfering with the employee’s advantageous business relationships. If the former employer’s false and malicious statements damage the person by preventing them from obtaining employment, or by causing them to be fired, that person may have a claim against the former employer.
If you feel your former employer is saying anything false about you and attempting to damage your reputation and/or prevent you from being hired, you should consult an employment attorney immediately. Be advised, however, that these cases are very difficult and it may be a challenge to find an attorney who will handle this on a contingency agreement.
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