What can I do about being wrongfully suspended for being called a racist?

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What can I do about being wrongfully suspended for being called a racist?

A co-worker is mad at me so she happens to be a good friend of one of the HR persons and is telling lies to them about me to help an employee not wanting to do certain jobs. What can I do in this instance?

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you don't have an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and may be suspended (or demoted, fired, etc.) at any time, for any reason--including being falsely accused by a coworker. You most likely do not have any recourse against the employer for the suspension. You may be able to sue the coworker, however, for defamation: defamation is the making to others of false factual statements about a person which damages that person's reputation. Depending on the exact circumstances, being called a racist could be defamation. If you wish to explore this option, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.


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