Truth is the only defense to defamation. As long as you're telling the truth you should be fine.
However, your statement "don't work for this company" will probably not be enough for a lawsuit.
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Defamation (which includes slander and libel) claims require a false statement of fact that causes harm. So, for example, saying the owner is a criminal when they are not could be defamatory. However, stating "don't work here" is an opinion that should steer you out of a defamation suit.
There are a number of defenses to defamation claims which are comprised of libel (written word) and slander (spoken word). Such defenses include truth, conditional privilege, immunity, opinion, and hyperbole. Your statement may very well be covered by one or more of these defenses. The vast majority of threatened defamation claims are never pursued, given the cost of filing a lawsuit, and the concern with calling more attention to the defamatory statement by initiating a public legal proceeding. If you are contacted again, consider engaging counsel. However, I suspect that the business owner was venting instead of making a formal threat of litigation.
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