What are my legal rights regarding slander?

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What are my legal rights regarding slander?

Someone at my job falsely accused me of sexual harrasment. When told they could be fired for making false accusations they quickly changed their story. I was told to just forget about the incident and go back to work with the individual who accused me. What are my legal rights?

Asked on April 7, 2011 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the person for defamation.  Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third party causing injury to your reputation. 

In addition to a cause of action (claim) for defamation in your lawsuit, you could include a separate cause of action (claim) in your lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is an extreme and outrageous act intended to cause and which did cause you emotional distress.  The extreme and outrageous act would be falsely accusing you of sexual harassment.

In addition to compensatory damages (monetary compensation) you may be able to seek punitive damages ( a substantial amount of additional monetary compensation) to punish your accuser for the malicious act of making the false accusations against you. 

If you decide to proceed with a lawsuit, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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