Chicago Defamation Attorney

Protecting the Reputations of Individuals & Businesses

Reputation is paramount when you are seeking work in Illinois. What your peers and former employers have to say about you will play a pivotal role in your ability to secure a new job. Most firms understand that employees will pursue various opportunities throughout their careers and are happy to provide positive references to hard-working employees. Other workers may find themselves the victims of defamation, where a former employer disseminates false statements that make securing new employment difficult to impossible.

The Kenny Law Firm provides legal support to employees injured by false statements. We understand the negative impact defamatory statements can have on a reputation and career. Our team can help you pursue litigation against your former employer and work to recover damages for your injuries.

Are you a victim of defamation? Give The Kenny Law Firm a call at (312) 647-2483 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free. We have handled hundreds of cases successfully in employment litigation.

What Counts as Defamation in Illinois?

Defamation is a claim that allows an individual to seek damages for reputational harm that was caused by communication (written or spoken orally) of false information.

Below are some examples of defamation:

  • Creating a rumor with the intention of harming a person's career
  • Spreading a false rumor to damage a person's reputation
  • Intentionally stating a lie in a review which is offensive or harmful

What are Elements of a Defamation Claim?

Successfully recovering damages requires establishing several elements in a defamation claim.

To prove defamation in Illinois, you must demonstrate that:

  • The offending party made a false statement about the injured party.
  • The offending party made an unprivileged publication of the false statement to a third party.
  • The offending party was at least negligent in making the false statement.
  • The publication of the false statement caused damages to the injured party.

In other words, you must prove that an employer negligently spread a false statement that caused you harm. Examples of injuries sustained in defamation cases include damage to your career prospects and reputation. In order to recover damages, you will need to specifically demonstrate what injuries the defamatory statements triggered.

What is Defamation Per Se?

Illinois recognizes defamation per se, which are statements that are so obviously harmful that the state does not require any proof of damages. Some of these statements, specifically those involving someone’s ability to do their job, can be common in employment litigation situations.

Types of statements that constitute defamation per se in Illinois include those that:

  • Claim an employee cannot perform their job responsibilities
  • Claim an employee lacks ability or integrity in their profession
  • Claim someone has a communicable disease
  • Accuses someone of committing adultery
  • Accuses someone of committing a crime

Continue below to learn about how defamation impacts the workplace and why acting quickly is essential.

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.

What are the Statutes of Limitation in Illinois for Defamation Cases?

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.

Schedule a free initial consultation with our team to discuss your options in a defamation case. Call (312) 647-2483 or contact us online today.

We Care About Your Experience

  • He was willing to take my case and try to get it back on track. For the first time in a long time, I felt that I just might get justice, be free to enjoy my First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

    - Shellie
  • “Thank you Jim for helping us when no one else would take the time.”

    - Michael & Peggy
  • “Thank you for all of your assistance and expertise.”

    - Brittany

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