CanI tell clientsthat Ino longer work at a firm, if that firm is lying and saying that I’m still employed there?

I used to be an independent contractor (teacher) at a music store and resigned recently. The store (firm) manager is telling my former students that I still work there and am on “vacation”, so she can keep business in the store. She knows if they knew I was no longer there, they’d stop lessons and look for me. I know all this because a parent called me recently and asked me when I’d be back. Isn’t this tortious interference? Can I clear my name and tell former clients I no longer work at that store?

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Of course you can tell clients--or anyone--that you do not work there any longer; you are under no obligation to allow or support this lie...or least, unless you signed you some agreement allowing them to represent that you are still there; if you did sign an agreement, it is likely enforceable. You may also tell people the date of when you stopped working there; you may tell then pretty much anything you like, though you are advised to stay to provable facts so as to not give the store any opportunity whatsoever to claim defamation. You also may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney--if the store has profited by your name, damaged your reputation, and/or taken business from you or hurt your business, you may be entitled to some monetary compensation. Good luck.


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