Pittsburgh Defamation of character lawyers. Defamation occurs when a person's reputation is tainted as a result of a deceitful statement or act of another person. Defamation can be divided into two types: spoken, which is referred to as slander, and written, which is referred to as libel. When in the work environment, defamation generally causes harm to a current or former employee's reputation, or career on the basis of another employee's false statement or act. A lawsuit aims to compensate the victim of the defamation for actual harm done to their career or name, as well as any harm that resulted from a altered relationship with third parties due to the defamatory statement.
Do you believe your reputation has been defamed by your workplace or by another person? If so, you may be eligible for legal recourse through a defamation of character lawsuit. Our Pittsburgh Defamation lawyers are here to help you get the money you deserve. To learn about your legal alternatives from an experienced Pittsburgh labor and employment attorney, do not waver to complete our free, no-obligation case review form for additional information.
The elements essential to demonstrate workplace defamation typically include:
1) a false and defamatory statement about another person
2) the unprivileged publication or communication of that statement to another person
3) liability on the part of the person making the statement amounting to intent or at least negligence
4) damage to the subject of the statement
One of the most problematic aspects is defining whether workplace conduct damaging to an employee’s reputation is considered defamation. Examples of conduct that can be mixed up with workplace defamation include name-calling, trivial rumors, joking, and personal opinions. Some of the more common disputes over whether conduct is defamatory occur over:
Statements made as expressions of pure belief, rather than allegations of fact, are not considered defamatory. Allegations of fact typically must be untrue to be considered defamation of character. Proving that remarks are true is usually a whole bar to recovery for defamation by the substance of those words. If the information transferred as a fact is untrue, and the speaker has no reasonable basis to believe that it was true, then the worker injured by these statements may be able to sue for defamation of character.
Pittsburgh employers are usually immune for critiques given during performance reviews because they have what is called qualified privilege, but there are exclusions for some situations. When an employer makes defamatory remarks during the process of a performance review that are driven by malice, made in bad faith with no supporting facts, exaggerated, or intended to harass, the employee making the comments may be liable for defamation. A good example would be unfounded allegations of dishonesty, stealing, incompetence, and many other accusations without supporting documentation or evidence.
Typically employers are only allowed to divulge work history information that involves dates of employment and facts.
While petty rumors are not considered defamation, those that create what is called a hostile work environment or harm an aspect of an worker’s career may be defamation. If the rumors are untrue or derogatory and the one who spoke them had intent to damage the subject of the rumor, this is commonly defamation and may give rise to a lawsuit. Employers also have a obligation to create a workplace that is a comfortable environment without the spreading of any rumors. When this does not occur and harmful rumors are a regular occurrence, the employer may also be accountable.
If you believe that you have been a victim of defamation of character in Pittsburgh or anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania, contact our Pittsburgh defamation of character lawyers for a free consultation.
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