I quit my job due to the harassment I endured while working there. It was to the point that I was crying two days before I actually had to be at work. I ended up sending an email to our district manager and nothing was done. The managers are now talking about me non stop. One lie they made up was I was telling fellow employees a manager was buying pills. They also said they served a cease and desist on me, but I haven't received anything. Can they do that if I haven't talked about them in public? Can I serve them with a cease and desist as well? I just want the harassment to stop. Do I have grounds to sue? Its not about the money, I just want something done.
I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. My comments are for information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. You should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.
If your former employer is stating things about your that are false, you may have a claim for defamation. Defamation can be libel (written) or slander (oral). Each state has its own legal definition. Generally, defamation is a false and unprivileged statement which exposes a person to hatred, contempt, ridicule or injury, or which causes the person to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure the person in his or her occupation. Some kinds of defamation require the plaintiff to prove actual harm. Other kinds of defamation is defamation per se, which means harm is assumed due to the nature of the defamation. You should consult with an attorney in your state to determine how your state defines defamation.
Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney in your state. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.nela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.
Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and in many cities. On the NELA web site, you can look at the list of affiliates. Some attorneys will be listed in the affiliate membership list, some in the national organization membership list, and some in both. Being listed in one or both lists should not influence your selection because attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase the listing in the national directory. Each local affiliate has its own rules for listing.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
This is not the kind of defamation case that any attorney is likely to accept on contingency (where the costs for the lawyer's work gets paid out of the money recovered at the end of the successful lawsuit). The reason for that is there are some legal doctrines that make your potential claim dubious, and the likelihood that you can successfully prove your case is very low because such proof depends on the testimony of former co-workers, always a factor indicating low prospect for success. Then, too, there is a very low potential recovery, based on the summary of facts that you have published, because your damages are very low if any.
In the absence of a contingency attorney's fee agreement, the costs of suing your former employer on defamation grounds would run you somewhere between $50 and $100 thousand dollars. Few attorneys would advise you to make that investment on the strength of the facts you have provided. So, from a practical standpoint, a defamation case is a very unsound course for you.
What might make sense from a cost-effective standpoint is the relatively small investment of a couple of hundred dollars to a lawyer for issuing a sound and impressive cease-and-desist letter. If well done, such letters can be very effective in capturing the attention and concern of the persons in authority at the former employing company, and those persons will ordinarily bring their subordinates under control. Problems like yours, even where company officials know they would succeed in the end, the company doesn't need or want -- they are an expensive and unnecessary distraction.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an 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 individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline