If I’m a manager and a staff member overheard me telling another manager how my job was threatened previously by my supervisor and they then reported it to my supervisor, can I be fired for this?

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If I’m a manager and a staff member overheard me telling another manager how my job was threatened previously by my supervisor and they then reported it to my supervisor, can I be fired for this?

If so, can I sue that staff member for slander or defamation of character?

Asked on October 6, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, truth is a defense in a defamation lawsuit. And what was said was in fact true, therefore you appear to no cause of action for this.
As for your job, do you have an employment contract, union agreement or the like that protects you? Possibly even company policy itself will afford you prtection. Also, your treatment must not constitue some form of legally actionable discrimination or retaliation. Otherwise, you are an "at will" employee. This means that your employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire, when and what for. In fact, an employee can be terminated for the reason you describe or for any reason or no reason at all.
To be certain of your rights, you can consult directly with an employment law attorney. After hearing all of the details of your situation they can best advise you further.


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