What can I do to obtain regarding lies told to my boss that has affected my job?

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What can I do to obtain regarding lies told to my boss that has affected my job?

A former employee has lied to my boss and the state department of child services about improprieties. His actions have already cost me 2 “sitting”‘ jobs. Now my boss, although saying he does not believe the allegations, is taking steps to limit my contact with the students at the school. In my opinion this validates those lies. This constitutes a change in my job description that was not agreed to. Any legal advice I have sought says there is nothing I can do about any of it.

Asked on August 23, 2010 under Personal Injury, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You probably do not have recourse against the current employer, unless you have a contract or employment agreement and the actions taken against you violate some term(s) of that agreement. If there is an actual employment agreement, it is enforceable; without one, your agreement to work status changes is not necessary.

If another person is defaming you, however, you may have a cause of action against that person--i.e. vs. the former employee. Defamation is the public (which means even to one third party, like your boss and/or child services) making of false statements of fact which damage your reputation and cause others to not want to associate with or work with you.

Note that opinions are not defamation--e.g. someone can say, "John's a creep" legally. And true statements of fact, no matter how negative, are also not defamation--so someone could say, "according to guidelines, male teachers should not be left alone with female students, but John spent 45 minutes alone with Jane" and if true, there's nothing that could be done by you. But a  false factual statement--a lie--could give to a cause of action. If you believe you've been defamed, you should consult with an attorney.


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