Can I file a defamation of character suit for being accused of being racist and it spreading around the company?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2011

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Can I file a defamation of character suit for being accused of being racist and it spreading around the company?

I have recently been accused of being a racist by two possibly disgruntled temporary employees who were moved to a lower paying position because of their work ability. I am a supervisor at a manufacturing company. An email was sent by their new supervisor to the plant manager, who in turn sent it to his supervisor, my supervisor, and the head of HR. I was suspended while they do an investigation into the incident and are interviewing people, some of whom I do not speak with. What type of lawyer would I need?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

To be able to file a defamation suit, the content would have to be false. If it's a matter of opinion, it is not actionable. You would also have to prove damages.

There may be surrounding circumstance that would have a cause of action, and depending on your company you might have other options (for example, if you ahve a union). 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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