Is this defamation of character and is there anything I can do about it

An old company I worked for has put me down as a non rehire due to attendance. I left on my own accord with a one week notice, and had no attendance problem. I was employed there close to two years.

Asked on June 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Possibly, IF they are telling people outside the organization (e.g. prospective employers calling to confirm your background) that you were fired due to attendence issues and that is, as you write, untrue, that may be defamation, since then it would be a factual mistatement which damages your reputation...but unless you can show a concrete losse (e.g. that it cost you a job), you could likely not recover enough money to make a lawsuit worthwhile. The amount you can get in a lawsuit is related to the harm (not just emotional upset) you suffered.
If it's purely on an internal file or list that you are a non-rehire for this reason, you have no cause of action: their own internal list of reasons to not hire you is not defamation, since it is not being shared with other persons, and any employer can choose to not rehire an employee for any reason at all, even incorrect ones.


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