How Defamatory Statements Impact the Workplace
Defamatory statements are perniciously used to harm someone’s career and reputation. They can manifest in one of several ways in a workplace and are not limited to harming future opportunities. Defamatory statements can be used to create a hostel work environment making an employee’s life miserable which may even compel them to quit.
Common examples of defamatory statements in the workplace include:
- Pretexts. When an employer decides they want to dismiss an employee but does not have sufficient cause, they may create a pretext, or a false reason, to justify a termination. Employers may set the stage for pretexts by including defamatory statements in performance reviews or disseminating defamatory statements amongst company leadership.
- Insidious office gossip. If someone intentionally creates a false rumor intended to harm your reputation, career, or character, that is in itself considered a defamatory statement. Office rumors can be generated to jeopardize someone’s job or growth opportunities. They can also be used to try and push an employee out of a company.
- Retaliatory references. It is common for prospective employers to seek reference checks from their former supervisors. If a former employer is angry at you for whatever reason, they may retaliate by giving a deliberately defamatory reference when called. This can make securing a new job extremely challenging, especially if you do not realize you are being defamed.
Why You Need to Act Quickly When Defamed
If you have suffered from defamation at the hands of your former employer or anyone else, you must act quickly and decisively in order to recover damages. The state of Illinois requires that defamation suits be filed within 1 year of the date of publication unless it was concealed possibly triggering the discovery rule.
Proving defamation can be especially challenging, and if you are hoping to sue your former employer, you should expect that they will be vigorously defended by robust legal representation. Our Law Firm can walk you through your litigation options and advocate for you every step of the way.
In addition to representing individuals, our firm also assists small- to medium-sized businesses with defamation cases involving competing firms and former employees tied to restrictive covenant agreements. We can assess the specifics of your case and advise on your legal options.