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Can I sue for Defamation from my old (California) Employer

Absolutely! Many California employment attorneys do not bother to include defamation (or the spoken version, slander) in their lawsuits for wrongful termination, discrimination and/or retaliation under the California Government Code since slander and defamation do not allow for attorney fees to the winning party. However, in a recent victory in Northern California (Sacramento area) a defamation verdict was returned this week, awarding the plaintiff $5.5 Million dollars for proving co workers and the company slandered him by claiming he was “not pulling his own weight”. In truth, it appears that the plaintiff (one bringing the suit) was a very good employee. His only sin was trying to protect the boss’ ex-wife – who was disabled – from losing her job. Sallustio vs. Kember Independence Insurance Company, (Sacramento Superior Court)

Slander and defamation claims arise under both California’s common law and numerous provisions of the California Civil Code. Any statement that tends to “lessen the profits” of your business or work may qualify if they are not true. California Civil Codes 43, 45, 46(3), all provide protection to workers. There are numerous reasons to add defamation claims and we routinely run that possibility through our California Causes of Action checklist. (As California’s leading and largest employee-only law firm, we’ve written this and made it available gratis to all California employment attorneys to improve the quality of pleading and to help assure that all available causes are included for thousands of workers).

The basic reasons to add slander claims to your lawsuit (or at least discuss with your attorney):

1. You’ve been the victim of actual malicious falsehoods and it has in fact injured your reputation, self-esteem, and willingness to “get out there”.

2. You can name an individual (along with the company if done as part of the slandering employee’s job) and if that individual is a California resident, keep your case out of federal court.

3.  Willingness of juries to amp up damages and include punitive damages by way of punishment and example against the company or individuals who did the damage to you.

4. ¬†Defamation is much more likely to offer insurance coverage as an “advertising” injury.

In conclusion, always remember the possibility of a slander claim. There are time limits under which these claims can be brought. However, its the wrong that keeps on giving. If you are required to self-publish a slanderous accusation (“They say I was fired for theft but it is not true”), then the time to sue begins when you are required to self-publish.

Call or contact us on-line to discuss your case. We’re here to help. No charge even for an initial consultation and we’ll get you right in to your closest office if we can help you!. 877 789 9707.