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Do we have a case for Defamation of Character in the workplace????

Houma, LA |

My husband was fired yesterday for no reason. He has been with the company for 1 1/2 years. He is their go to guy for an odd jobs around the shop. He also loved his job. We found out that a co worker told the boss that my husband was talking bad about the boss and the company....... That is completely not true. The boss called my husband up at 6:21am and told him he was fired. My husband asked why. His boss said I think you know. Later that night my husband gets a call from another coworker, he said he over heard the guy bragging about how he got my husband fired. Do we have a case????

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Attorney answers 3


I'm sorry to hear about the situation. Slander is the oral communication of false statements which are harmful to someone’s reputation. Spoken opinions which don't contain statements of fact don't constitute slander. The basic elements of a claim of slander include; 1.defamatory statement 2. published to third parties 3.which the speaker/publisher knew or should have known was false. Contact a local defamation lawyer for a free consultation to discuss.

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You may well have a case. I highluy recommend that you attempt a sit down meeting with the company, and if that fails to resolve the issue that, yes, you speak to an attorney about this.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


Louisiana is an "at will employment" state meaning that his employer can terminate him for almost any reason. It appears that your lawsuit would be valid against the co-worker, but not necessarily the company or boss depending on the "official" reason, if any, the company provides to your husband. I would agree that you should ask for the reason why your husband was terminated, preferably in writing, so you can continue to gather information as to whether you have a case. If the company cites bad work habits, etc., then it will be hard to prove that anything the co-worker stated influenced the decision. Has your husband ever been written up or disciplined by the company? If so, that would make the case harder.

In order to prevail, you will need to have some evidence, either in writing or via testimony of other employees or the employer, that the reason your husband was terminated was due to the false statement. As of now, it is not clear that the co-worker's statements caused anything. Moreover, if your husband was talking bad about the boss, then you probably do not have a case for defamation. This is the sort of information that a lawyer will need to fully evaluate your case.