Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

What If Your Employer Spreads Lies About You?

By Dan Atkerson on June 21, 2017

Some employers or co-workers may have something against you, or may just be crazy, so they will spread lies about you. Whether it is at your current job, or from a reference from a former employer, a hurtful lie that damages your reputation can cause much suffering. Not only psychological suffering, but financial as well. When someone spreads hurtful misinformation about you to a third-party, it is known as defamation.

What Are the Two Types of Defamation?

  • Libel: Recorded or written lies that damage someone’s image. Tangible documents like Phone conversations and emails.
  • Slander: Verbally spoken lies to another co-worker or other party.
For defamation to be illegal, it needs to be more severe than a schoolyard rumor. The damage to someone’s reputation needs to have caused serious personal or monetary damages. In many cases, it needs to be proven that another employer didn’t hire you because of the defamation. To build a successful libel and slander case, evidence needs to be gathered. For libel cases, gathering copies of the written or recorded items in question is necessary. For slander cases, you need eyewitnesses to claim that the statements were hurtful and untrue.

Defamation claims in Texas generally requires you to prove that the statements your employer made were not “privileged,” meaning the statements are protected from liability. References fall under the privileged category, but the help of a Dallas defamation attorney can help prove that the statements should not be classified that way if they are untrue and outside of the scope of a traditional reference.

Dallas employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson is experienced in holding employers accountable for defamatory statements.

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