Is it harassment if your co-workers talk about you in a derogatorily manner?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it harassment if your co-workers talk about you in a derogatorily manner?

They spread rumors that I was sleeping with the warden, deputy warden, and human resources. They said that was how I got my job. They were extremely rude to me while I was at work. They keyed my car. When my husband got hired the rumors got worse, and I had to quit. I feel it was a very hostile environment. Being that I worked at a prison and could possibly have to depend on these people to save my life at one point or another, I didn’t feel safe. I loved my job but the co-workers made me hate being there. I feel down the steps at work and they made fun of me.

Asked on December 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The harassment. specifically the false statements about you sleeping with others would constitute defamation.  You could sue your former co-workers for defamation.  Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third person who recognizes the defamatory content and the statement is injurious to your reputation.  Each repetition of the defamatory statement is also actionable as defamation in your lawsuit.  Slander is spoken defamation.  Libel is written defamation.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would include mental distress, physical illness, medical expense, loss of friends and associates resulting from the defamation.  Some of these items may or may not be applicable to your particular situation such as physical illness, medical expenses, etc.

As for the incident of keying your car, you could sue the culprit for trespass to chattels.  Trespass to chattels is the intentional damaging of your personal property.  Your damages (compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your car.


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