The issue of defamation appears to be a tough one as stated by the other lawyers responding. However, I would think you should have your situation reviewed by an employment attorney as it sounds like the reasons for your termination could possibly be challenged.
No information provided in response to these questions can be relied upon in any way without further personally consulting with Attorney Kerrigan and Attorney Kerrigan consulting personally with you regarding your specific legal situation.
Based on the facts provided, probably not. Generally, when employees of a business talk to each other it is considered the business talking to itself. Defamation requires publication of the false statement to a third party.
It seems like there was an incident in which the alleged tazing was only a part of the larger incident and you were fired for other acts during this event in addition to the tazing. If you admitted to the VP that you did some of the other things alleged to have occurred then maybe something was lost in translation to HR. If you could have been fired for the other acts--and you probably could--then it doesn't matter whether HR believed you tazed somebody.
In Texas, employers have many protections against defamation lawsuits by employees. You have to show that they knew that they were making false statements and they acted with malice and spread knowing lies about you to someone outside of management or even outside the workplace who had no right to know. You have an uphill battle, but you should present all the facts to a defamation attorney for review.The statute of limitations for defamation is only one year in Texas.
This is not intended to be legal advice, but is only for general information. Cantact an attorney in your area for legal advice.
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