Can I sue a former employer for writing to the unemployment office and falsely claiming that I had been terminated for theftand fraud?

I was laid off last month when our company shut down my office. They told us to file for PA unemployment. I was a PM with the company. We were told that the lay off was for financial reasons. Then I was just notified that my claim was denied because I had stolen from the company and lied on my initial application and that I had committed fraud on paperwork or payroll. All of these allegations are false. I called and was told that the president of the company wrote that letter one day when he was angry and to just appeal it. Can I sue for slander or defamation of character?

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Personal Injury, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is the public (so to any other people, including the unemployment office) making of untrue statements of fact which harm a person's reputation, causes others to not want to do business with him or her, and/or costs him or her money. Claiming you were fired for cause for stealing and that you lied on an unemployment insurance application when you did no such things, so that you lost your unemployment claim, would certainly appear to be defamation. From what you write, you may have a claim or case for defamation, and it would be worth your while to consult with an attorney who can evaluate the strength and worth of your case in detail. Good luck.

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