Post: Suing Administrators
    Posted by: Teacher on 9/13/14
    () Comments

    # The Claim.

    To establish a claim for defamation, a former employee must
    demonstrate that the former employer published a defamatory
    statement about the employee. In other words, an employer
    may be liable for defamation if the employer communicated a
    statement about the employee to a third person that could be
    harmful to the employee's reputation. If the employer cannot
    demonstrate the truth of the statement, the employer may be
    liable for defamation. Defamation can be oral (slander) or
    written (libel).

    1. Defamatory Statement.

    To be a defamatory statement, a communication must be
    capable of defamatory meaning. The communication need not
    cause actual harm -- it merely must be capable of impugning
    the employee's good name or reputation. Courts will examine
    the statement, the context in which it was made, the
    audience, and the surrounding circumstances.

    An employer may be liable for "defamation by conduct"
    if a defamatory statement can be inferred by the employer's
    conduct. For example, in one case an employer was found
    liable for defamation by conduct when it forced an innocent
    employee to resign amidst an investigation for theft, along
    with the actual thieves. The employer's actions inferred
    that the employee was a thief when, in fact, he was not.
    Thus, mere conduct can support a claim for defamation if the
    surrounding circumstances permit.
    3. Publication.

    To be liable for defamation, an employer must publish the
    defamatory statement. "Publication" does not require a large
    audience; a statement made to one person other than the
    employee-plaintiff is publication. Thus, announcing over the
    loudspeaker that an employee was fired for stealing is a
    publication, but so is responding to a request for a reference.

    The new theory of "compelled self-publication" holds that an
    employer may be found liable for defamation of a terminated
    employee without saying a word. If the employee was
    terminated based upon evidence that was defamatory, and if
    the employee is required to disclose the reason for the
    termination to a prospective employer, the former employer
    caused compelled self-publication. Liability attaches if it
    would be foreseeable to the employer that the employee would
    be compelled to provide the information.
    # Special Defamation Claims.

    1. Defamation by Neglect.

    In addition to the above, an employer may be held
    liable for defamatory statements made by others if it adopts
    them either intentionally or by implication. In most
    instances, this occurs where some writing containing a
    defamatory statement appears on the employer's property and
    the employer does little or nothing to see that it is removed.

    Posts on this thread, including this one

  • Suing Administrators, 9/13/14, by Teacher.
  • Re: Suing Administrators, 9/13/14, by MacQ.
  • Re: Suing Administrators, 9/13/14, by teacher.
  • Re: Suing Administrators, 9/14/14, by elsiev.
  • Re: Suing Administrators, 9/14/14, by MacQ.