Previous employee purposefully made inaccurate statements attempting to cause me to lose my job. Because of the accusations, I was placed on administrative leave and have lost the imagine I once had since the occurrence.
The most important consideration is the time, money and emotional toll that will be expended in bringing such a case. Most attorneys who take libel and slander cases require a sizable retainer and usually do not take these cases on contingency. You may have a labor action if you were placed on leave without pay especially if you were not given a fair chance to defend yourself. Contact your state's labor and employment department to see if you can file a claim.
Know that defamation lawyers typically want 5k up front just to begin work, so unless you sustained a significant monetary loss, you could pay thousands more than you recover, if anything. However, Avvo has the best lawyer finder tool to locate an attorney nearby. Good luck.
Taking legal action against a devil in the workplace usually is very expensive and time consuming. Most states require that you prove damages. I know you stated that your "image" at work may be tarnished. I agree that your feelings are hurt and your thoughts that your prestige is tarnished may be true. But a tarnished image many times will not rise to the level of being compensated by a lawsuit against the devil at work. I would go to the Human Resources Manager and speak with him/her and see if there can be a meeting held to stop the harassment and disinformation. I wish you the best but if you are dead set to go forward then you will need an attorney and your beginning legal fees could start at $5000 and could go up if depositions are taken.
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