Can I sue former employer for defamation?

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Can I sue former employer for defamation?

My former provided false info stating that I had been verbally warned 3 times before being fired. I never received any warnings about performance. They also stated that I received a final warning written warning which is not true. I only signed goals and expectations for this year. I never received anything else.

Asked on February 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they are telling OTHER people, like prospective employers, that your received warnings when you you did not, that may be defamation and you may be able to sue if you can show you suffered some loss or damage from this (like being turned down from jobs): it would be a false statement of fact made to other people which damages your reputation. (Even when someone defames you, if you can't show that you suffered some cost, loss, damage, etc. from it, it's likely not worth taking legal action over, since without provable losses, you would receive little if any compensation.)
But if it's just in your file or they simply told you, it's not defamation, since the critical aspect of "publishing" the statement--making it to other people--is missing.


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