Would there be a possibility of filing a suit of some sort against my current employer for slander?

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Would there be a possibility of filing a suit of some sort against my current employer for slander?

I am an RN at a local facility in our very small town. There were allegations which I was unaware that coworkers were concerned I may be a drug user. The initital individual to bring this to majority of staffs attention is a fellow RN Supervisor who should have issued a drug test immediately per guidelines. I find out 2 weeks later when pulled into my Assistant Director’s office for a urine screen which I passed but was still issued a final written warning for

Asked on July 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is a factual mistatement or misrepresentation, which damages your reputation, and which was made publicly (i.e. to third parties) and which also was made with, at least, negligence, or carelessness, as to the truth of the facts. If there was some reasonable basis, even if ultimately incorrect, for the suspicion that you were using drug drugs, then making that accusation and the consequences that came from it are most likely not defamation. However, if there was no reasonable basis for the accusation, then this could have been slander, and you may have a cause of action against the coworker(s) who made the accusation and possibly your employer, too. If you feel this was the case, you should consult with a personal injury attorney about the situation, to determine how strong you case is, what it might be worth, and the cost to pursue it. (Personal injury or "PI" attorneys--the same ones who handle car accidents and slip and fall cases, are the ones who handle defamation suits, too.)


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