I feel like my character has been hurt and these allegations are false. Do I have a legal claim?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

I feel like my character has been hurt and these allegations are false. Do I have a legal claim?

I was written up and accused of creating a hostile work environment with out any dates times locations of any incidents. Write up is very vague and based on hearsay. I feel like my character has been hurt and these allegations are false.

Asked on May 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, if you can identify the person who defamed you, you could take legal action against them. However, you would have to prove that the statements were false and that the person who made them knew that. As for your employer, your treatment is likely legal. That is unless your write-up in some way violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, such action must not have constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination (which you did not indicate to be the case). The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This means that a worker can be written-up (or suspended or even terminated), for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any legal claim vs. your employer, unless how they have written you up, etc. violates the terms of a written employment contract (including union agreement) in regards to discipline. Without a contract, however, all employment is "employment at will" which means, among other things, that since you could be terminated at any time, for any reason, even unfair or unproven ones, your employer may do anything "short of" or "less than" termination for any reason, even unproven ones--like writing you up. So the discipline/write up is legal.
(By the way: the "hearsay" rules apply to court cases, nowhere else. Anywhere else, including work, decisions can be based on hearsay.)
If you can identify the person who made the accusations and they are untrue *factual* allegations (see below), you could possibly sue that person for defamation. They key is, it must be an untrue fact, not an unfair opinion or value judgment. Example:
* You are accused of making sexist or racist comments when you did not: the allegation that you said a specific thing is a factual allegation, and, if untrue, may be defamation.
* You are accused of being "mean" or "hostile" or "not a good manager": that is an opinion and value judgment and is NOT defamation, no matter how hurtful to you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption