John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

More on defamation actions in employment disputes

Previously, this blog discussed a legal case that involved a nurse suing her former employer for defamation. Her claim was that her employer falsely accused her of stealing medicine from the nursing home where she worked. It turned out the woman had a solid alibi. The case illustrates an important point about which Minnesota employees should be aware.

In many cases, employees may not have a lot of options after they get let go, other than simply to go and look for another job. After all, if the employee was at will, and so long as the employer followed the laws of the United States and Minnesota when it terminated the employee, the employee may not have a lot to fight about with respect to the termination itself.

However, an employee in the Twin Cities does have the right to his or her good reputation, especially as he or she looks for other work. This means that employers, even when giving references to other companies, must be careful to be factual when giving information about its former employees.

On a related point, employers must be particularly careful about repeating any negative information about a former employee when not giving a reference or otherwise engaging in legitimate business.

An employer who fails in this basic obligation can cause serious and unfair damage to a its former employee. In the worst case scenario, false information can lead to an employee getting blackballed, that is, unable to find work in her chosen profession. The end result can be an employee loses her ability to earn a living for herself and for her family. In such cases, compensation may be available.

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