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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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We have a former employee who has started her own business

Customer Question

We have a former employee who has started her own business in competition to us and has just posted a complete lie on facebook. She is claiming that a note given to her was her new contract when it was just a note with her new hours, a contract was issued. https://www.facebook.com/tamsyn.jenner?fref=ts

is this libel, what can we do to stop it and can we do anything in terms of sueing her?

Martin Smart
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What exactly did she say?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

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Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Thats not libel I'm afraid. Even if you had given her a new contract that would not have reduced you in the minds of most people.

Its just an untrue statement. There's no action you can take about that per se. A lie is not actionable of itself.

Obviously if she is acting in breach of contract then you can sue on that basis and argue that this statement was incorrect. If this wasnt a new contract then that should be simple enough to show.

But the fact that she has posted something untrue on facebook isn't actionable itself.

I'm very sorry if that is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


thanks for your reply. She has taken the post down now after a voicemail from my wife saying that we were taking legal advice. We are very angry though and would like to make sure that this doesnt happen again and that we limit any damage but from your answer it would appear that there is nothing we can do?


 


Martin

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, not unless she does something unlawful.

There is no claim per se in posting a lie on facebook. Perhaps lying should be unlawful but its not unless it is committed in a number of specific ways - e.g false allegation, defamation.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded.

For now please let me know what is your specific question.

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