If you leave a company, you may understand that you’re not leaving on the best of terms. Maybe your old boss wouldn’t hire you back. It doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. Perhaps they were just unhappy that you decided to leave your position.
But how far will your boss take it? What if you find out that they’ve been talking to other area business owners about you? If they’ve been trying to make you look bad, could this be defamation? Are they trying to blackball you within your industry so that you’re no longer able to work for anyone, all because you decided to leave their company?
Inaccurate facts vs. opinion
One thing to remember about defamation is that it has to be factually inaccurate. Your former boss is allowed to have a negative opinion of you. If they simply tell someone else that they didn’t like you, that they wouldn’t hire you again or that they felt you could’ve improved at your job, that may not be defamation. They can have an opinion of you, even if you disagree with it.
The problem comes when they start presenting inaccuracies as if they are facts. For instance, maybe you know that your boss didn’t like you, but you absolutely showed up on time every day and accomplished all of the tasks you were given. If that former boss begins telling people that you were always late, that you never got your job done or that you didn’t have the proper skills for the industry, that could be defamation.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s both frustrating and complicated. Be sure you know what legal options you have.