Is there any actions I can takeregarding a former co-worker who made false allegations about me?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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Is there any actions I can takeregarding a former co-worker who made false allegations about me?

An anonymous letter was sent in about me when called into a meeting with our HR representative. She said that some of these allegations were verified with some other employees within the office. Allegations such as: I destroyed patient records, got into other employee email accounts (you have to have a password to gain access), created a hostile environment to the point that other employees were “fearful” of me. I am sure that I know who wrote this anonymous letter and just 2 weeks prior to her transferring to another office was telling people that I was starting rumors about other employees.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is the public making (so, to any third parties) of untrue statements of fact which damage a person's reputation and/or makes others not want to work with him or her. If someone commits defamation, they may be liable to the person who was defamed. However, it is important to note that opinions, no matter how negative, are NOT defamation. So saying that you create a hostile work environmnent, that peopl are fearful of you, etc. is not defamation,  because those are opinions. On the other hand, the allegations about destroying records or accessing other people's email would be defamation if they are untrue, and might provide grounds for a lawsuit and recovery.

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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