How does defamation affect business?
A statement is defamatory if is harmful to the trading reputation of the company. An attack on the products or services of a company is only defamatory if it attacks the integrity, competence or other reputational value of the business. It is the overall effect of the statement that matters.
What is defamation at workplace?
Among the categories of statements that constitute defamation (libel or slander) per se that are raised by employees are: statements that a person is unable or lacks integrity to carry out his/her office or employment; or statements that hurt the person in connection with his/her trade or profession.
Can an employee sue an employer for defamation?
Making public and disparaging statements about an employee, past or present, can lead to an employer being sued for defamation. If an employer has genuine concerns about a former employee and has something they wish to impart to clients, it would be wise to seek legal advice on workplace law before taking any action.
Can a employee sue an employer for defamation?
An employee may claim that the employer (through one or more of its employees) has made defamatory statements regarding the lead-up to or in the aftermath of a termination. Although rare, employees have been successful in obtaining damage awards against their former employers (on the basis of vicarious liability) with respect to such statements.
What happens if an employee makes a defamatory statement about the company?
The same reasoning applies when an employee makes defamatory statements about the company. If the inquiry determines that defamation has occurred, the employer may sanction the offending employee. The applicable sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis, but may include dismissal.
Can a corporation be held liable for defamation?
While a corporation is a person in the eyes of the law, it does not act or communicate other than through its employees, directors, officers – i.e. human beings. An employer can be held vicariously liable for the defamatory words communicated by those human beings in certain circumstances.
What are the different types of defamation at work?
They are known as libel or slander per se. Among the categories of statements that constitute defamation (libel or slander) per se that are raised by employees are: statements that a person is unable or lacks integrity to carry out his/her office or employment; or statements that hurt the person in connection with his/her trade or profession.
What should an employer do in case of defamation?
The courts recognize that the obligation to act faithfully includes protecting the employer’s reputation. In case of defamation, what recourse does the employer have? Whether the victim is an employee or a manager, the employer should not stand idly by if someone claims to be the victim of defamation.
When does defamation of a corporation take place?
A corporation is defamed if material is published about that corporation that would tend to negatively impact its standing in the business in which it operates.
Can a corporation sue for defamation of character?
Corporations and partnerships may also pursue special damages in a defamation cause of action. In such a case, the corporation must show evidence of financial loss that stems directly from reputational injury that was caused by the defamatory material.
Can a person be sued for defamation in Australia?
It’s a simple answer, according to Australian Defamation Lawyers principal Barrie Goldsmith. “Anybody is entitled to say anything they like about a fellow employee or an employer, provided that it is said to the correct person and provided that it is not said with malice. That’s where it oversteps the line.”