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Do I have rights to sue a corporation I recently worked for defamation of character and by doing this making me lose job opportunities due to lies?

1 Answers. Asked on May 18th, 2017 on Labor and Employment - North Carolina
More details to this question:
Worked for the company for 10 years. Used this company as a reference of course bc of job history and found out they were telling those employers calling I was stealing from them! Not ever have I stolen from them. I never was written up, questioned nor accused of stealing. I was the bar manager and worked 6 nights a week. I quit the job and still never knew of any such thing. I have recently found out that the new manager who was not the manager when I was employed there told other employers that I was not rehire able because I was stealing from them! I have lost many job opportunities due to this and it's not accurate nor right that this is my main job of my life with the most experience and they are lying about me!
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Answered on May 18th, 2017 at 5:21 AM

If the facts you provide are correct and provable, then yes you can sue for defamation.  In general, defamation claims are tough unless the person or corporation engaged in the defamation is making a verifiable statement of fact that is untrue.  Suing a former emloyer for defamation is even harder as we have a law that protects employers in North Carolina who are providing references.  That law effectively prohibits a claim even if the reference contains some untrue portions.  So, basically, you have to prove exactly what the former employer is saying and that it is factual and completely false.  If you are able to do that, you can at the very least get a court order stopping the employer from defaming you.  If you are able to prove that you did not get specific jobs because of the defamation, then you can get economic damages on top of that.

I am an experienced attorney focusing on employment law in North Carolina and Tennessee. This post/response is not meant to constitute legal advice.

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