Good news for employers faced with a former employee who tries to add defamation to his case based on alleged employer misrepresentation. What you say to an agency like the EEOC can’t be grounds for a separate defamation action.
Recent case: Tommie sued Wells Fargo, alleging that he was terminated because of his race. He also said the company defamed him when it told the EEOC (which was investigating the case) that Tommie had been fired for not meeting sales quotas.
But the court tossed out that claim. It noted that even if what Wells Fargo told the EEOC was false, it couldn’t be the basis for a defamation lawsuit. (Dawson v. Wells Fargo, No. 11-2456, DC MN, 2012)
Final note: Of course, lying under oath is still a criminal offense—perjury. It just isn’t grounds for a separate defamation lawsuit.
- Record-Keeping: Heed federal rules for discovery of e-mail, IMs
- OK to terminate disabled employee if effort to accommodate is unsuccessful
- Leave off job application any language that limits time frames for employee to sue
- Supreme Court: Collective-bargaining agreements can force workers to arbitrate discrimination claims
- Document any slippage in employee performance to insulate against later discrimination claims