Defamation of your character in the workplace can have serious consequences for your career. Lies or even half-told truths about you can make it hard to work with other team members and can impact your chance at a promotion. Someone who is ruining your character in the workplace must be stopped, but how do you handle such a situation?
First, you should understand what is involved in a defamation claim or lawsuit. A viable claim usually has five components. First, someone made statements about you. Second, those statements were published in a forum that allowed multiple people to see them. Third, those statements somehow caused you injury — either emotionally, to your career or both.
A fourth factor is that the statements were false. You can’t claim defamation because someone shared something that was true, even if it doesn’t show you in the best possible light. Finally, statements that fall into certain privileged categories might not count as legal defamation. Someone making a statement about you in a legal deposition, for example, could make a false statement that even injured you in some way, but because they were testifying legally, the statement might be considered privileged.
It can be difficult to know if you are a victim of defamation. First Amendment rights do come into play somewhat, which is why consulting a legal professional can help. Our firm can review the facts of your situation and help you understand if you have a case for defamation. If you do, we can provide you with information for making a decision about next steps so you don’t have to continue to live with such harassment.