What to do if a boss lied to my superiors about me which resulted in my suspension?

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What to do if a boss lied to my superiors about me which resulted in my suspension?

I work in a restuarant. My boss suspended me for “not bringing a guest their meal”. This is inaccurate. There are witness to prove I am in the right. I spoke to the general manager about the lie, and two others he documented about me the same day. The GM says he takes the managers side and suspension sticks. The thought of having to go back to work there makes me so anxious I am physically sick. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any recourse against the GM or the restaurant, unless you had an employment contract which they violated in some way; without a contract, you are an employee at will, and may be suspended (or, for that matter, terminated) at any time, for any reason, including a reason which is factually inaccurate.

In theory, you might be able to sue your boss for defamation. Defamation is the public--which includes to any other third party, like the GM--making of false factual statements about you which damage your reputation or working/business relationships. However, since the most you could likely recover is the amount of wage you lose by the suspension, and since you'd have to be able to refute the boss's testimony so as to show that the statement was factually inaccurate, it is unlikely that it is worthwhile to pursue this.


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