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Defamation by Slander and Libel in the Workplace and Recommendations to Avoid Legal Liability

Abstract

Defamation, or defamation of character, is heard often in the media when one person has supposedly made a false statement that harmed another’s reputation in some manner. However, the legal wrong or tort of defamation can take place in the employment context when employers or managers make an intentionally false statement that harms an employee’s character and career. This article illustrates the difference between “slander” and “libel” and discuss the privileges and defenses to defamation, especially the qualified privilege as it applies in the employment context. We discuss the implications of this tort in the workplace and provide recommendations on how to avoid liability for defamation.

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Correspondence to Bahaudin G. Mujtaba.

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Cavico, F.J., Mujtaba, B.G. Defamation by Slander and Libel in the Workplace and Recommendations to Avoid Legal Liability. Public Organiz Rev 20, 79–94 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11115-018-0424-8

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Keywords

  • Defamation
  • Intentional tort
  • Legal liability
  • Libel
  • Slander
  • Qualified privilege