Workplace defamation suits on the rise

Tresa Baldus of the National Law Journal reports that workplace defamation lawsuits are on the rise:

Defamation lawsuits are on the rise in the workplace as employees take on employers over the right to reputation, suing over being labeled as damaged goods after losing their jobs.

With the economy forcing so many people out of work, lawyers say the environment is ripe for defamation claims.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202429832670.

Hat tip to Prof. Rick Bales at Workplace Prof (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/), who notes that the “article, however, contains no empirical data to support the thesis — just a list of recently filed cases and a series of anecdotal comments by practitioners.”

This topic is particularly significant for targets of workplace bullying who must endure behind-the-back attempts to sabotage their reputation through lies and rumors.  Defamation claims are hard to win, especially when the allegedly defamatory statements are grounded in innuendo or casual opinion rather than outright lies.  Nevertheless, it is worth noting that in the absence of a direct legal claim for workplace bullying, a defamation lawsuit is among the possible avenues for legal relief.

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