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Employer slander

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  • Employer slander

    I live in Illinois. I have worked for the same employer for almost 10 years. I took this job having heard rumors that he was not an easy man to work for. I am a very hard worker with great work ethics. I've witnessed his being cruel to many employees over the years bringing them to tears repeatedly until they finally quit. For the past two years I have been his target. Often being humiliated in front of clients and fellow employees. Recently another employee told me that my boss took her aside and told her that I used to have a very prestigious position at another company but lost that job due to a mental condition. I have no idea where he came up with such a story, but not only is it not true, this seems slanderous. There is not a shred of truth to this, but even if it were, wouldn't he be violating some sort of privacy act? Do I have a right to demand where he heard such a story? I questioned him on this and told him it was not true and I felt he was damaging my character and asked him to please stop saying things like this. His reply was a very smug "no comment". I believe he may have told other employees as well. This type of thing can be very damaging and I'm wondering if there is any sort of legal recourse I can take. I am 50 years old and divorced with a mortgage and he knows I need this job, or at least a job. I am trying to find other employment, but I am not having much luck at this time. I am afraid that these statements may further hinder my chances for other jobs. Please help me stop this before he damages my character further. Thank you.
    Last edited by SearchinMySoul; 01-02-2006, 08:42 AM.

  • #2
    even if it were, wouldn't he be violating some sort of privacy act?

    No, not unless he obtained the information from your group health insurance.

    Do I have a right to demand where he heard such a story?

    You have the right to ask, in that no law prohibits your asking. However, no law requires him to answer you, either.

    I'm wondering if there is any sort of legal recourse I can take.

    Only if you can show that you HAVE (not that you MIGHT) suffered damages due to this statement. You can't sue for what might happen.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      So basically he is free to say untrue, slanderous things just because he can?

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      • #4
        Until you have actually suffered some damages, it doesn't meet the definition of slander. We do have a concept in this country called "free speech" - perhaps you've heard of it?
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Don't we also have a concept in this country called liability? I do not believe that "free speech" means that anyone can say anything about anyone without something to back those statements up. If that were true, politics would be even dirtier that they already are.

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          • #6
            Yes. WHEN you have suffered some damages, he can be held liable. But you don't get to sue him for something that hasn't happened yet and may never happen. I don't know how to make it any more clear to you.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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