At some point in time, most employer-employee relationships must come to an end. The employee may move on to another vocation, physically move to a different city or state, or might reach the age of retirement and stop working. Conversely, the employer may be forced to reduce staff, go out of business, or merge with another company. Whatever the reason may be, it is expected that both the employer and employee treat the departure with professionalism, regardless of the personal circumstances that may exist.
It may be difficult to separate personal feelings from business dealings, especially when it comes to firings and layoffs in the workplace. People take their occupations seriously and often rely on them as the main source of income for supporting themselves and their families. If things do not go well or unplanned issues arise, the term of employment may come to an end.
When an individual moves on to seek alternate employment, he or she often must rely on recommendations from former employers. Some occupations find employers to be very close-knit, and supervisors may speak with peers regarding the performance of former employees. In most cases, the law provides protection against false-statements and intentional sabotage on the part of an employer.
It is against the law for a supervisor or business owner to intentionally lie about an employee’s performance to prevent him or her from getting a job. Such actions may be considered employment-related defamation.
Employers should be careful not to intentionally sabotage former employees because of personal reasons. If the former worker did not perform up to expectations, it is perfectly alright to give that analysis, but it is usually a good idea to have documentation to back up such statements. If the employee does not have a record of poor performance, statements to the contrary should not be made.
Individuals who have suffered defamation at the hands of a former employer often pursue legal action against the offender. They may be able to recover damages, attorney’s fees, and may seek punitive damages against their former place of business. Defamation lawsuits may require the individual to prove that the statements made against them are false, and the burden of proof usually rests on the accuser.
If you have been the victim of employment related defamation, you may be eligible for compensation for damages suffered. For more information, visit the website of the San Antonio
of Melton & Kumler, LLP.