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Defamation of character – Emails

Posted on : 05-01-2009 | By : askinglaw | In : Civil Rights, Defamation & Libel, Employee Rights, Other Legal Topics, Wrongful Termination


An employee has been spreading rumors amongst the company that I’m reading people’s emails. They are completely false, and in fact, I have evidence against it. Now people at work look at me funny and it feels like it’s just a matter of time before they find an excuse to give me the ax. I’m preparing as much information as possible but the whole ordeal is rather disconcerting. Is this grounds for defamation of character?

Answers (3)

Just how is it you have evidence your “not” reading these emails?

Defamation of character is the legal term for harming someone’s reputation, usually by false statements. Defamation of character can include slander, libel, or a combination of both. It sounds like, from the description you provided, that it is very possible that the person is slandering you in the work place and you have every right to be concerned that this false information would have negative repercussions on your professional career.
There is a difference when it comes to defamation between statements of fact and statements of opinion and that is really what your case would hinge on. By this I mean that if this person is saying that he thinks you are reading people’s emails then that would lean more towards being an opinion and cannot be considered defamation even if it is untrue. On the other hand if this person is saying that you do in fact read other people’s emails then he or she is stating an untrue fact and that can be considered defamation.

Good Luck with everything!

my landlord recently sent a notice to quit in an email, then sent me another email telling me to go to a psychiatrist not a counselor, take a money management course and get a second job. Then she forwarded this email to many people. Is this defamation of character? Thank you.

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