Can a supervisor talk to other employees about me?

I have a pregnant fiancé, so have missed a few days due to going to the doctor’s appointments and the and hospital with her. Unfortunately, I did not have doctor’s notes for all absences. I was written up for this and suspended for it. Now, my supervisor wants to talk to my co-workers about me saying that I’m not a reliable worker yet he knew the situation. Can I take it to court?

Asked on August 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

from a personal injury standpoint, if what your supervisor said about you was untrue and he knew it, then you may have a claim for defamation. However, even if you can prove all of what you allege, what are your damages? For example, did his disparaging remarks prevent you from obtaining a promotion, etc.? Frankly, these type cases can be expensive and difficult to prove in a situation such as yours. From an employment law perspective, unless some form of legally actionable discrimination was the reason for your treatment or a term of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement was violated by his actions, then while unprofessional, this supervisor's behavior was legal. 

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