Can an Employer Sue an Employee for Defamation?

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Can an Employer Sue an Employee for Defamation?

If you are an employer and believe that you have a valid defamation claim, you can sue your employee. Your current or former employee might be telling lies or spreading misinformation about you or your business, in which case, you may have a valid claim.

Defamation occurs when someone says false things about you, which damages your credibility and reputation. It might be slander, which happens through spoken words or actions, or libel, which is a written statement. In both cases, the defamation law in most of the states is almost the same.

In this article, we will explain to you how you can sue your employee, what the elements of a defamation case are and how you can write a cease and desist letter easily with !

How Do You Prove Defamation?

The following elements are required to prove that your employee has made defamatory statements about you:

  1. Your employee made a false statement about you.
  2. Your employee’s statement was not privileged.
  3. Your employee acted negligently when he published or spoke of the defamatory statement.
  4. You or your reputation was damaged as a result of your employee’s statement.
Defamatory statementThe statement needs to be defamatory. A defamatory statement is any statement that harms your reputation, lowers you in the eyes of the community or society, and deter others from associating with you.
  • Your employee must have said that you are not paying the salaries of your employees properly, which would lower your reputation.
Be publishedThe statement must be seen by someone who is not you and your employee. It does not have to be published literally, even loud speaking and being heard by others can be enough for a claim to qualify as defamation.
FalseEven if the statement damages your reputation, as long as the statement is true, there is nothing you can do. By false, we mean objectively false. If the statement is false but it is just a subjective mere opinion.
HarmfulIf you are claiming defamation, you have to be able to demonstrate that the statement harmed you or your reputation. Some examples can be:
  • Your employees began to quit their jobs.
  • You were fired as a result of the defamatory statement.
Target youThe third-party, who read or heard the defamatory statement must know that the statement was targeting you. The court uses the “Reasonable Person Standard” to determine whether a reasonable person would think that the statement was referring to you.
MaliceThis is especially the case with public officials and public figures. They need to demonstrate that the person who made the statement acted with actual malice. Actual malice here means that the person willingly and carelessly made the statement, knowing that it was false.
  • If you are a known and famous businessman or woman, you might be seen as a public figure.
Does not qualify as privilegedYou must demonstrate that the defamatory statement made by the defendant was not privileged. Privileged situations include:
  • If your employee is a witness, testifying in court for another case of yours or somebody else’s, you probably will not be able to file a claim against him, because he will be privileged in the eyes of law.

Compose Your Cease and Desist Letter With DoNotPay!

If you believe that your employee published a defamatory statement about you, your first course of action should be composing a cease and desist letter to serve your employee. In this letter, you will briefly let them know that you are willing to take legal action if he or she does not retract the statement or compensate you. Even though it is not legally enforceable, the letter should be powerful enough to intimidate your employee.

You should make sure that you cannot resolve the issue out of court before you file a lawsuit because these kinds of processes are generally very time-consuming and expensive. Instead, you can compose a perfectly professional and strongly worded cease and desist letter with DoNotPay!

All you have to do is:

1. Search for the Defamation Demand Letters service on .

2. Tell us whether it was slander or libel, what the defamatory statement was, and how it was false as well as your damages resulting from the statement.

You are done! Now, based on your state’s defamation laws, DoNotPay will write you a customized and strong cease and desist letter for you to serve to your employee.

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