What is considered to be actionable libel?

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What is considered to be actionable libel?

I quit my job because I felt that I was working in unsafe conditions that failed to be addressed. My employer fought my unemployment claim and won. But I have not appealed yet. Instead I’d rather stand outside of their place of business in the street exercising my right to a peaceful protest. Would it be considered libel if the sign read “I quit X hospital because I felt unsafe”? I’m aware that by doing this, they may incur economic loss, but that is partly my intention. I want the truth to be heard because they lied to unemployment compensation saying that I did not leave for this reason.

Asked on April 23, 2011 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your statement regarding you quit the hospital because you felt unsafe is not defamatory per se. It is not libelous or slanderous because it doesn't make a statement of proposed fact, at least it doesn't appear to be. Now, you might violate other ordinances or you may actually need a permit to protest peacefully so be careful to cover all of your angles before you do so. Further, that statement really has nothing to do with the hospital having committed possible legal perjury in an agency action for unemployment compensation. Please understand though you should consider speaking with a labor lawyer about not only appealing the unemployment board decision but also to possibly sue for any sort of safety hazards that caused you damage or forced you to quit.


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