Can an employer make up lies about their employees without any justification or facts to back it up?

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Can an employer make up lies about their employees without any justification or facts to back it up?

Our employer made comments about one of employees which is totally untrue and can be verified. The employee’s reputation is being ruined based on false statements, is this allowed?

Asked on January 13, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is when someone--including a business--publically makes untrue statements of fact about a person, which damages that person's reputation and/or causes others to not want to work with or do business with him/her. "Publically" in this context means to any third parties, including coworkers or customers.

So if the employer is making negative, false factual statemens, the employee may have a claim or cause of action for defamation. (Note: true facts, no matter how negative, would not be defamation; and opinions are also not defamation.)


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