Suing former employer for false statements

Written by our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach

A frequent question we get is whether employees can sue their former employers when false statements are made about one’s job performance. The short answer is that you have the right to sue for defamation, but you will have to overcome certain obstacles.

For more than a decade, our employment lawyers in Virginia Beach have handled defamation cases for individuals throughout Hampton Roads, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.

For you to have a claim, your employer must first make a false statement of fact to a third party which tends to injure your reputation. Your employer must have either known that the statement was false or not had a reasonable basis to believe the statement was true.

If your employer does this and you file a lawsuit, the defendant will likely claim that it benefits from the protection of a “qualified privilege.” The privilege will apply based upon the nature and context of the communication. Therefore, there are some occasions where the employer is allowed to make false statements.

However, the good news for employees is that even if the privilege applies, it can be defeated by showing the employer was acting with “malice.”

If you want to move forward with a defamation case against your employer, former employer, or any person, it will be beneficial if you consult with an experienced employment lawyer.

The lawyers at Klein, Rowell & Shall take pride in representing workers in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth who are victims of defamation, and invite you to schedule a consultation with us by calling (757) 432-2500 or using our online form below.

Employment lawyers in Virginia Beach serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and all of Hampton Roads.

Klein, Rowell & Shall, PLLC is a litigation-focused law firm in Virginia Beach serving Hampton Roads


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