Can I Sue an Employee for Defamation?

RAK Law Firm Team

Are you a Florida business owner? Are you worried your employee may have put your brand’s reputation on the line? You may be able to sue for defamation with the help of our team of lawyers here at RAK Law Firm, PLLC.

What Is Defamation?

Defamation in Florida refers to the act of making false statements about someone that can harm their reputation. Defamation can take the form of slander and libel.

What is Slander?

Slander is spoken or oral defamation. This occurs when false statements are communicated verbally, such as in conversation, speeches, or broadcasts which harm a person or company’s reputation.

What is Libel?

Libel is written or printed defamation. This occurs when false statements are communicated in a permanent form, such as in written documents, emails, social media posts, or published articles which may harm a person or company’s reputation.

How Do I Know if an Employee Is Making Defamatory Statements?

As an employer, determining whether an employee is engaging in defamation involves gathering evidence and evaluate the following elements:

Gathering Evidence:

  • Collect any written or recorded statements made by the employee that contains false statements about your business.
  • Document any instances where the employee made false statements to others about your business.
  • Gather any supporting evidence or information that shows harm caused to your brand’s reputation as a result of the employee’s false statements.

Elements to Defamation in Florida:

  1. False Statement: The statement made about you or your business must be false. Opinions and subjective statements generally do not qualify as defamation, as they may be protected under the First Amendment.
  2. Publication: The false statement must be communicated to at least one person besides yourself or your business. It could be spoken, written or published in some form.
  3. Injury: The false statement must have caused harm to your reputation or brand’s reputation, resulting in measurable damages. This harm may be in the form of damage to your personal or professional life, financial losses or emotional distress.

Suing for Defamation

If you are considering suing an employee for defamation, please contact RAK Law Firm, PLLC online or at (407) 437-0315.

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