Can I sue my former employer for slander or loss of wages?

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Can I sue my former employer for slander or loss of wages?

I was recently incarcerated for serving a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. I did not have my trial yet. While incarcerated I lost my job. Now everyone there (at my last place of employment) is telling everyone I am a child beater. I tied to get employed at another job, and they heard this from my last company and refused to hire me.

Asked on September 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is the making to others of a false statement of fact which damages a person's reputation. If you can prove that your employer made a false statement--in other words, that the employer called you a "child beater"--and not that the employer stated the truth but other people misunderstood it (for example, the employer said you were arrested for "serving a minor and endangering the welfare of a child," but the people hearing that misinterpreted it as beating a child), you could potentially recover compensation. Remember: the important thing is what you can prove the employer said--the employer is not responsible if other people misunderstand what it said, so long as it said the truth. If you think you have suffered defamation, you should consult with a personal injury attorney about your case.


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