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Thread: Not fired yet

  1. #1
    jjsjjba is offline Junior Member
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    Not fired yet

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA
    What are some examples of "defamation" in regards to this forum's title?
  2. #2
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjsjjba View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? PA
    What are some examples of "defamation" in regards to this forum's title?
    Thread deleater.
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  3. #3
    jjsjjba is offline Junior Member
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    reign of terror

    A little over a year ago we had two people join our small team (one left us before stating "I'm ending my reign of terror here" and the other supposedly helped our former CEO with a PC issue while waiting for car repairs (yet this person claims to not understand PCs and the lack of skills proves it). The one that left is now my interim manager (as my current manager is leaving us soon) and the other one they assigned to lead two projects over me. This has proven to be the down fall of my career with this company, but I'm not fired yet. We have had nothing but major problems with both projects that this person leads (mainly on part of the vendors applications and our own app) and it has caused nothing but stress amongst the entire team (I've been here the longest and feel I have more experience then the others). The project leader jokes with me daily (making comments that insults my intelligence in the managers presence while at times he joins in, like referring me to the 3 stooges when I didn't understand something said, telling me if the project fails I should be looking for a new job, following me on social networking sites, the latest comment was that I should be buffing up resume). At one point of time I was considered the "go-to" guy, now employees (primarily located out of the same office as my manager resides in) treats me with ill respect. I was told that "the approval came in for another worker on our team" in the same sentence "I shouldn't be telling you this". I am trying to understand if defamation of character fits as I feel even though I do as I am told (no matter how confusing the on-going transition continues), that tactics (dirty) are being used to push me away. This is a cleaned up version and I will not delete this one
  4. #4
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    OP, do some reading.

    There are lots and lots of threads explaining what might or might not constitute defamation.

    The search function is a very handy little tool.

    (Terribly underused though. Poor thing must feel lonely at times. Unwanted, even)
  5. #5
    cbg
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    No one asked you to delete it. Just edit it to make it readable.

    Nothing you have posted gives you a defamation claim - or any other kind of legal claim.
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    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  6. #6
    jjsjjba is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    No one asked you to delete it. Just edit it to make it readable.

    Nothing you have posted gives you a defamation claim - or any other kind of legal claim.
    Makes sense, keep up the FreeAdvice I need more expert opinions... time to read more posts and get educate in the weak area of mine.
  7. #7
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjsjjba View Post
    Makes sense, keep up the FreeAdvice I need more expert opinions... time to read more posts and get educate in the weak area of mine.
    Have at it Dear.
  8. #8
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjsjjba View Post
    Makes sense, keep up the FreeAdvice I need more expert opinions... time to read more posts and get educate in the weak area of mine.


    Absolutely!

    Knowledge is power

    Check out the posts in the "Defamation" section, specially those by quincy.
  9. #9
    jjsjjba is offline Junior Member
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    Search is powerful!

    "Review" time a few months ago: On the top line of my manager's comments reads "even some simple tasks allude him, take way longer than they should or fall back to his colleagues" and it lists 6 defined tasks. All 6 tasks continue to come up with my teammates and interim manager struggling with these same tasks that are never fully resolved. 2 false comments that I have never said from my mouth "Tells people they are not his boss. Tells people they need to do it themselves." Over a decade here and this was my first in person "review" to be told by my manager "if things don't shape up it will be ugly for you". Policy reads that an employee should be put on what I interpret as a probation period if a "review" is poor, according to my manager during this "review" he said "this makes 3 poor "reviews". In 2012 I almost matched my non OT wages with my OT pay, 2yrs before that I was given a check almost equal to that year's earnings because in is words "I work you like a dog" (but not his decision... company issue...) .
    Last edited by jjsjjba; 03-01-2013 at 09:56 PM.
  10. #10
    umkemesic is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjsjjba View Post
    "Review" time a few months ago: On the top line of my manager's comments reads "even some simple tasks allude him, take way longer than they should or fall back to his colleagues" and it lists 6 defined tasks. All 6 tasks continue to come up with my teammates and interim manager struggling with these same tasks that are never fully resolved. 2 false comments that I have never said from my mouth "Tells people they are not his boss. Tells people they need to do it themselves." Over a decade here and this was my first in person "review" to be told by my manager "if things don't shape up it will be ugly for you". Policy reads that an employee should be put on what I interpret as a probation period if a "review" is poor, according to my manager during this "review" he said "this makes 3 poor "reviews". In 2012 I almost matched my non OT wages with my OT pay, 2yrs before that I was given a check almost equal to that year's earnings because in is words "I work you like a dog" (but not his decision... company issue...) .
    Still nothing.

    The above is a private review. So it is not defamation. I have wrote dozens that are far, far, worse. i.e. "Needs constant supervision, cannot follow the simplest of orders". Comments like these (honest opinion), in a private performance review, are not actionable. Misstatements of fact i a private review maybe actionable under something else, not defamation. But hearsay and your Supervisor's opinion of work is .... his opinion.

    You cannot defame someone in a private communication.

    Even if his opinion was made public, it may not be defamation. Think of a Food or Cinema critic giving a bad review. Or yourself in a heated argument with Customer ervice at a retail store calling the employee stupid.

    Regarding the first example, I would keep copies just in case, but really do not see anything there. Plenty of workplaces I have been too have joked around like that. You would have to prove actual damages. Even if you did this, it would still be hard.

    Simple insults (calling you a liar for ex.) is not defamation - usually. Going around telling your coworkers you have AIDs would probably be. It also depends on your State, and PA is pretty conservative - substantial (not complete) truth is a defense and your burden would be to prove what they said was completely wrong.

    TL; DR: Defamation is hard to prove.

    It seems like the company has problems outside their treatment of you, and I would be looking to abandon ship regardless.
    Last edited by umkemesic; 03-02-2013 at 03:03 AM.
  11. #11
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by umkemesic View Post
    Still nothing.

    The above is a private review. So it is not defamation. I have wrote dozens that are far, far, worse. i.e. "Needs constant supervision, cannot follow the simplest of orders". Comments like these (honest opinion), in a private performance review, are not actionable. Misstatements of fact i a private review maybe actionable under something else, not defamation. But hearsay and your Supervisor's opinion of work is .... his opinion.

    You cannot defame someone in a private communication.

    Even if his opinion was made public, it may not be defamation. Think of a Food or Cinema critic giving a bad review. Or yourself in a heated argument with Customer ervice at a retail store calling the employee stupid.

    Regarding the first example, I would keep copies just in case, but really do not see anything there. Plenty of workplaces I have been too have joked around like that. You would have to prove actual damages. Even if you did this, it would still be hard.

    Simple insults (calling you a liar for ex.) is not defamation - usually. Going around telling your coworkers you have AIDs would probably be. It also depends on your State, and PA is pretty conservative - substantial (not complete) truth is a defense and your burden would be to prove what they said was completely wrong.

    TL; DR: Defamation is hard to prove.

    It seems like the company has problems outside their treatment of you, and I would be looking to abandon ship regardless.
    Nice post, umkemesic (although the bolded portions are not always true).
    Last edited by quincy; 03-02-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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  12. #12
    umkemesic is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Nice post, umkemesic (although the bolded portions are not always true).
    This is true, and I should add that even food critics can be sued in some States The exceptions to the general rules are not applicable here.
  13. #13
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    What I'd suggest to you, original poster, is that you are not experiencing a potential defamation of character suit or wrongful termination, but you are getting the not too subtle hint from your formerly well satisfied employer that you need to be thinking of work elsewhere. The thing is, if they just tell you to go away, they'd be setting you up to be eligible for unemployment benefits while you look for another job. Therefore, they'd much prefer you to self terminate.

    There are two ways they are going about this. One is by making you so totally miserable that you'll be thinking of finding another job. Two is giving you such negative and ugly feedback that you're hopefully going to be offended, and stomp off and voluntarily quit with your "pride" in your work intact. Of course this type of quit means that you have a very very small chance of getting to be approved for unemployment benefits if you quit before you have that next job. In order to quit and be approved for benefits, you would have to show that you have a very good job related reason to quit. Your paycheck bouncing, your employer asking you to do something illegal or dangerous, your employer physically abusing you. Those are considered good reasons.

    Deciding that your formerly good performance is now rotten and unsuitable and bad and underpar, insulting comments regarding your intelligence, encouragement to your co workers not to respect you or admire you....those are just totally legal management techniques. They would not be considered a good reason to quit the job for unemployment purposes, much less grounds for a lawsuit.

    No where is it a rule or a law that your employer has to give you good feedback, or valid feedback, or true feedback or appreciate and evaluate your performance accurately and fairly. They can say pretty much anything they want to about you, true or not.

    My best advice would be, since you are, as you say, not fired yet, keep doing the job to the best of your abilities. Do not give them any easy reasons why they might want to terminate you, such as that you come in late or violate their computer usage policies or punching out your supervisor, something like that.

    Make them fire you for your so-called bad performance if they are going to. Do not oblige them by quitting and walking away before you have another job to land on. If you had successfully performed the job before, and can state that you are doing the job to the best of your abilities now, and they fire you for poor performance, you file at once for unemployment benefits while you are looking for another job. You will very likely be approved unless they can show that you are deliberately goofing off or messing up at your job for some malicious reason, which of course, there won't be such evidence.

    In the meantime, while all this drama is going on, keep records of what is going on, obtain and save at home copies of your former good reviews and performance evals, do your job quietly and professionally, and be diligently looking for another job, not just sitting around fantasizing about suing these rats and making them sorry they said bad stuff about you. Sometimes jobs just end, the employer has the right to do this to you, even after long and faithful service, and your best response is to move on and do better.
    Last edited by commentator; 03-02-2013 at 08:11 PM.
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  14. #14
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    . . . Deciding that your formerly good performance is now rotten and unsuitable and bad and underpar, insulting comments regarding your intelligence, encouragement to your co workers not to respect you or admire you....those are just totally legal management techniques. They would not be considered a good reason to quit the job for unemployment purposes, much less grounds for a lawsuit.

    No where is it a rule or a law that your employer has to give you good feedback, or valid feedback, or true feedback or appreciate and evaluate your performance accurately and fairly. They can say pretty much anything they want to about you, true or not. . . .
    You are absolutely correct that nothing that is said by an employer to an employee privately can result in grounds for a defamation lawsuit, but some comments communicated to others about a person's ability to do their job properly can support a defamation claim, even when these comments may be couched as simple insults.

    Employers must be careful not to tell falsehoods about an employee that can adversely affect an employee's reputation in or out of the workplace. An employer must be especially careful when false statements made to others about an employee, or implied about an employee, impugn the ethical or moral standards, the honesty, the skill, the fitness or the financial capacity of the employee in his particular line of work.

    jjsjjba, I agree with all that commentator has suggested you do, including looking for another job. If you find a new job, however, and your current employer in a reference passes on to your prospective employer any false information about you that results in you being passed over for the position, then there will be a legal action to consider.

    Good luck.
  15. #15
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    Quincy, my question is, if the employer tells other employees this guy is a loser, can't be trusted, has perhaps done something dishonest...even so, what would be his demonstrated losses as a result of it? I thought, please educate me, that there had to be some potential that the employee so maligned had to be able to show that it had hurt him in some way other than his feelings and sense of well being.

    While the employer certainly should be careful to say only true things about the worker, it has been my experience that many many employers create falsehoods and reasons to terminate that have very little to do with reality, have never really seen this followed through on with a defamation action. Is it possible, likely, a potential to prove that the employer has lied and sue them for defamation?

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