What can I do in the instance that a previous employer committed libel against me?

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What can I do in the instance that a previous employer committed libel against me?

I was recently let go from a position requiring a security clearance because, “It would take too long for me to be investigated for a clearance”. I am currently drawing unemployment because I have been searching for a job for 2 months to no avail. However, I recently had a fact-finding interview with the VEC because of a letter that the VP of said company wrote to the VEC saying that I mislead them and lied in regards to my previous clearance status (i.e. I was put in for one but was awaiting adjudication). I never lied or mislead them by any means and have proof. What are my legal options?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You option is to sue: if someone defames you, you may bring a legal action seeking both compensation and a court order preventing them from continuing to do this. Defamation is the public--which means to even one other third party--making of false factual statements--so while opinions are not defamation, asserting that you did a thing which you did not would be a false factual statement--which damages another's reputation. From what you write, you may have been defamed, and it would be worthwhile for you to consult with a personal injury attorney, to explore bringing a lawsuit.


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