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What is my RECOURSE to DEFAMATION at the WORKPLACE?

Atlanta, GA |

Last year I worked on a project that succeeded and was widely celebrated.


This project was in direct conflict with the opinions of a co-worker and an upper-tier supervisor (not my direct supervisor).


The upper-tier supervisor removed me from the position. Both the co-worker and upper-tier supervisor (both very influential) started and succeeded in a slander campaign stating that I was a problem to work with.


I received exceptional ratings on my performance evaluations during that tenure.


I would like to get that job back (both of those individuals have left the organization) but despite my exceptional qualifications, personnel in that division will not consider me due to what they heard.


1) What can I do? 2) Do I have legal options?

Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. without knowing what was said as a basis for labeling you a "problem to work with", any worthwhile opinions or suggestions can not be given here. It sounds like you still work for the same company but just not on the same project. Unless it can be shown that your denial of the positioin is due to an impermissible reason (ie-gender, age, race, etc.) an employer has the right in the first instance to assign positions as it deems appropriate. However, it may be best for you to consult with a discrimiation/employment attorney in your area in private, so that you do not have to post private information on a public website such as AVVO.


  2. 1) If you feel like you were subjected to unlawful discrimination, you may file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), subject to applicable time limits, usually 180 days after the date of the last "bad act." Otherwise, you may have a civil claim for defamation, which could be slander (verbal) or libel (written). Please be aware that defamation claims generally carry a one year statute of limitations, so time is of the essence. You should probably consult a local attorney with experience in such claims as soon as possible. Good luck.

    Answers to questions on this web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Unless you and Troy W. Marsh, Jr. have signed a written contract, Troy W. Marsh, Jr. is not your attorney, and you are not his client. www.marshlaw1.com troy@marshlaw1.com


  3. If former managers and co-workers stated to others that you were "a problem to work with," those statements without more are not slander. Those are clearly statements of opinion and opinion is not subject to claims of slander. Moreover, unless the position that you were transferred to paid less than your previous position with your employer, you do not have legally cognizable damages caused by those statements.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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