Q. I understand that my company can be held liable for statements I make to employers seeking references for my former employees. What about statements I make or information I provide to the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) regarding employment security benefits?
A. In Georgia, statements made by an employer to the GDOL in connection with a former employee’s claim for unemployment benefits are subject to an absolute privilege and therefore are not actionable.
In contrast to most privileges, which are described as “qualified,” an absolute privilege cannot be overcome by evidence of malice, bad faith, ill will, etc. This is not to say, however, that employers are free to provide false information to the GDOL without any legal consequences whatsoever.
To the contrary, under Georgia law, it is a misdemeanor for an employer to provide false information to the GDOL in order to prevent or reduce the payment of unemployment benefits to a former employee.
It is also important for employers to bear in mind that state law privileges are not applicable to federal claims. Thus, while there is no federal defamation claim, allegedly false statements provided by a former employer are often the basis for discrimination and harassment claims under Title VII and other federal employment statutes.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/5390/contacting-the-georgia-department-of-labor "