What can we do to prevent my former employer from harrassing us by calling the department of labor and making false claims?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can we do to prevent my former employer from harrassing us by calling the department of labor and making false claims?

Former employer who is also father in law and fired both me and my husband who were running his office for him. Hostile work environment where he asked us to do illegal things and we refused. He is now fighting unemployment. I won mine. Still waiting for judgement decision after hearing for my husband. However, during the hearing the former employer claimed he wanted to file criminal charges with the department of labor saying we were both committing fraud by collecting unemployment while having real estate licenses. We both do but neither of us is pursuing it because there is not market in our area at this time. He also sent three harassing letters demanding we provide information on how office works, or he will file lawsuit. After we were fired we sent 14 emails with details on how to run the office. What are our rights here? He continues to try and disparage us and make our lives hell and we are expecting our first child in August.

Asked on April 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he has made false factual allegations about you to others that damage your reputation and/or cost you money (such as by resulting in a denial of unemployment), he very well may have committed defamation and you could sue him for either or both of monetary compensation and/or a court order that he cease doing so. Consult with a personal injury attorney to explore this option: the same lawyers who do car accident or slip-and-fall cases are generally the ones who handle defamation cases.

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