What to do if a co-worker made false statements aboutyou to your employer?

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2010

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What to do if a co-worker made false statements aboutyou to your employer?

Back in 07/10 I was injuried at work. Management and HR investigated me but not what happened when I was hurt. A co-worker told HR that I pushed and called the man who hurt me a “fagot”. I did not and the assistant manager, who was out of their view, was right there saw and heard everything. I could have been fired if the A.M. wasn’t there. This person still works in the store as far as I know. Can I take any legal action against this person?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

What your co-worker did is defamation: he or she made a public (to other people) false statement of fact (i.e. said you did things you didn't) that would tend to damage your reputation and/or make others less likely to work with you. You could try to sue this person for defamation, but if you were lucky enough to not suffer any losses or damage (e.g. you were not fired), then it is probably not worthwhile doing--the lawsuit will  probably cost you more than you could possibly recover from it. Sometimes, people wrong us and there is little or nothing we can do in return to them, unfortunately; this may be one of those cases.

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