Court: Online gripe about work conditions isn’t defamation — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Court: Online gripe about work conditions isn’t defamation

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After the Record of Hackensack interviewed Ed Doherty, president of Doherty Enterprises, which owns about 80 Applebee’s restaurants in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the paper posted the article online. The paper quoted Doherty as saying he treats employees “with dignity and respect” and provides “a great opportunity for them to have a good job.”

When the father of a young woman who had complained she had been harassed while working in one of the restaurants saw the article, he posted a response online that laid out his daughter’s complaint.

Doherty sued, alleging defamation. But a New Jersey judge dismissed the defamation claim, writing that the father’s comments were his opinion and touched on an important public issue.

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