Can I sue my employer for saying untrue things about me?

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Can I sue my employer for saying untrue things about me?

I was given an employment review and was basically told that I won’t amount to anything and that

I needed to work on my safety and attendance even though I never had safety training and I’m a cashier and I never called out sick or was late. I feel humiliated and this is in my file

Asked on June 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue them about this.
1) First, it was said to you: anyone may legally say anything they like to another person. It is only defamation (possibly) if said *about* a person to other people.
2) Second, what you describe is an opinion, not a factual statement. You may feel it is untrue, but the comments represent unprovable opinions. (A factual statement is something quantifiable and verifiable, such as you were absent 10 days when you were only out 4.) Thingss like that you "won't amount to anything" or that you "needed to work on" you safety training are nothing more than his opinons. You may disagree with them, but legally, everyone is entitled to their opinion and you cannot sue over an opinion, no matter how much you disagree or find them objectionable. Only untrue factual assertions which damage your reputation and which are made about you to other people may be defamation and so may be something you can sue over.


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