What to do about a false allegation made by a former co-worker?

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What to do about a false allegation made by a former co-worker?

My ex-boss contacted me and told me that another ex-employee contacted him and claimed I made disparaging remarks about the company after I was laid-off. My ex-boss also claims I violated the confidentiality agreement I signed when I started. He intends on enforcing the terms to the extent of the law and I should expect to hear from his attorneys. What does this mean? I have never spoken to this other employee since his last day at the company, from which he got fired. This, I believe, I can prove. Secondly, do I have grounds to pursue this other ex-employee for making false accusations?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your question about what the statement from your former boss means regarding hearing from his attorneys is that the attorneys might send you a letter warning of the consequences for breaching the confidentiality agreement.  The consequences for breaching the confidentiality agreement would be a lawsuit.  Don't worry about it.

As for potential action you could take against the former employee for the false statements, you could sue that former employee for defamation.  Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge that it is false communicated to a third person.  The third person recognizes the defamatory content and it is injurious to your representation.  Each repetition of the defamatory statement also incurs liability for defamation.

Libel is written defamation.  Slander is spoken defamation.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for defamation) would include mental distress, loss of friends and associates resulting from the defamation, and if applicable, physical illness and medical expense.


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