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You are Here: Home > Workplace > Defamation in the Workplace

Defamation

Defamation Definition

Defamation is the act of defaming. It is also called defamation of character. The terms mean harm to the character or reputation of someone, directly caused by the false statement or act of another.

Spoken defamation is slander; written is libel.

Defamation — slander or libel — related to the workplace and employment typically takes the form of harm to the character, reputation or career of a former or current employee, directly caused by the false statement or act of an employer representative.

Employees most often make allegations of employment or workplace slander or libel after their employers terminate them, or after their former employers respond to employment background checks.

Name calling, petty watercooler rumors, wisecracks and honest, personal opinions typically don't constitute defamation.

In other words, to constitute defamation related to employment or the workplace, a false statement or act must cause serious harm to one's character, reputation or career; however, there is an exception to this rule. Continue reading for more information.

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