It is not uncommon for an employee’s claim against his or her employer to involve both wrongful termination and defamation. The attorneys of an experienced Bronx employment law firm can explain how the two issues work in conjunction.
A Bronx employment law attorney cites the elements of defamation as:
- The making of a false statement of fact;
- About the plaintiff/employee;
- Published to a third party; and
- That causes damage to the reputation of the plaintiff/employee.
As the information from a Bronx employment law firm emphasizes, written statements defaming an individual are termed libel, and oral statements are referred to as slander.
A Bronx Employment Attorney on Defamation and Termination
Defamation may be a factor in an employee’s termination in one of two ways:
- The employer may provide an explanation of why the employee was terminated to, for example, the terminated employee’s former co-workers; and
- The employee may claim that he or she was terminated based upon a defamatory statement made by a third party.
Absent a written contract of employment, the general rule in New York is that an employee may be fired at any time independent of a reason. As the legal team from a Bronx employment law firm can explain, there may be circumstances where a termination may be proper under at-will standards and not be wrongful, but the employer’s comments explaining that termination may be defamatory.
Statements That Are Not Defamatory
In consideration of the requirement that defamation must be a false statement of fact, a Bronx employment law attorney cites two examples of statements that are not defamatory:
- Opinions. No matter how harsh or hurtful, an opinion is different than a statement of fact; and
- Truth. If the statement is true, by definition it is not defamation.
Contact a Bronx Employment Law Firm for Legal Advice
If you have been terminated for any reason you feel was unjustified, you need to explore your options with an experienced legal team. Call the Bronx employment law firm, the Law Office of Delmas Costin, Jr., at 718-618-0589.