Los Alamitos, CA asked in Libel & Slander for California

Q: My co-worker made false accusations, informed management things I never said or done, can I file defamation against her?

I had minimal interactions with my co-worker. If we met to discuss issues, there's 3rd staff presented at the same time. The co-worker complained to the management team that I insulted her and blamed her. I told manager let's meet and clarify what she's claiming because my interactions time with her were mostly short, and it was either trying to fix her computer or tech issues. My discussions with her usually about how she used the office technology and to understand her method so can fix her tech issue. While I was trying to troubleshoot her technical issue, the other manager was in the meeting and assisted with the repairs. My co-worker complained to this same manager that I insulted her and blamed her for what's wrong, which I didn't make any such comments at all.

This co-worker continued to text, email other managers I have bad personalities, etc. She refused multiple requests to meet (with a manager), discuss, and clarify her claims.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You can file against her, and if you win, you can seek to collect against whatever assets she has that are subject to levy, which, in the case of a co-worker, may not be much. Defamation is not so easy to prove, you have to prove the statements made were FACTS, that she KNEW they were FALSE when she made them, that they were actually FALSE, that you suffered a SPECIAL FORM OF DAMAGE (such as lost wages), and that non of the statements were PRIVILEGED. That is a lot of different things and you will have trouble with the first one since "bad personalities" is an opinion not a fact. Small Claims.

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