What canI do about untrue remarks that have been made about and are affecting my status at work?

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What canI do about untrue remarks that have been made about and are affecting my status at work?

I am a middle school custodian and have recently learned that a fellow employee has been maliciously spreading rumors that I am a child molester, which is quite untrue. I have at least 2 witnesses who have told me she was “out to get me”, and who are willing to quote her remarks. When I told the head custodian what I learned, he reported it to the principal who in turn supposedly told her to stop. However, no public retraction has been forthcoming. Teachers are avoiding me and the principal has “reassigned” me to areas where there will be less interaction with kids. I’m afraid for my future.

Asked on February 27, 2011 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) First, you could sue this person for defamation: defamation is the public (so even to one other person) making of false statements of fact (so opinions are not actionable, but a factual statement, such as you are child molestor, could be) that damages a person's reputation and/or causes others to not want to do business with that person. You could sue for monetary damages and/or for an order directing that she not  do this anymore. You should consult with a personal injury attorney about this possibility.

2) If there is any contract or agreement at your workplace and affecting your job, including a collective bargaining or union agreement, governing discipline, grievance, inter-employee disputes, etc., you could enforce the terms of that agreement and use whatever hearings or process it gives you.


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