What are my rights if I am being punished at work for something that I didn’t do?

I am a local truck driver and have been with the same company for over 2 years. I had a call-in complaint 1.5 years ago that was false. I have been driving the yard truck for over a year now and put in a request to go back out making local deliveries . However, my request was denied because of the complaint. It is a he said/she said complaint and my onboard computer showed it was not me. Yet they are now punishing me for it by saying that I am to stay in the yard or I can quit. Is this slander or defamation of character? And by the way, I didn’t do the offense. I have over one million accident free miles and no tickers on my record.

Asked on February 15, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First, if you don't have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. That means, unfortunately, that you may be fired--or suspended, demoted, or otherwise disciplined--at any time, for any reason, including for things you did not in fact do.

Second, defamation is the making of false factual statatements about you to third parties, if those statements damage your reputation. If something is being said directly to you, it is not defamation: only false negative statements made to other people about you may be defamation.

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