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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I have been accused verbaly by my line manager of being a thief

Customer Question

I have been accused verbaly by my line manager of being a thief and alchoholic I subsequently took out a grievance with my company but have since resigned. do I have a case of slander and defermation . he admitted he has said this to the H R department when questioned. have got 25 years of unblemished record untill this point
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, when did you resign?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

on tuesday after I was told that there had been a witness come forward who said she had seen me drinking the alcohol I was supposed to pinch. I understand that a meeting took place of the company premises against company policy and disciplinary procedures between the man who accused me and a member of my team who I do not particularly get on with and has made various comments to others that she wanted my position.


I was assured by the Hr department and my store manager that there was no investigation into my behaviour and that I would not been brought back into the buisness after working for them for 2 years prieviously if they ever had any doubt about my attributes.

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Ok so was it after that that you decided to leave your job? Was it Tuesday this week? Has your employer attempted to ask you to come back to work?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was offerd the chance to return to work in another department working alongside the store manager originaly but then when HR rang me to discuss my return to work on tuesday thay informed me that I was now going to be invited into a disciplinary hearing to disuss alegations against me. up untill that point I was under the impression that they were dealing with my grievance and therefore felt that my position had become untenable so I was left with no alternative but to resign.

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Alison, to answer your original question it is unlikely that you would succeed in a claim of defamation of character. It is rare that a court would find that a statement made in the employment context would amount to defamation as the statement needs to be publically made (to at least 5 people) and needs to have the impact of making right minded people hate or ridicule you. Even though the impact is that the employer has decided to discipline you it is unlikely that a court would find this meets the legal definition of defamation of character.

Furthermore even if it did it would cost you tens of thousands of pounds to raise a claim in the high court and you could only sue for your financial loss as a result of the statement. Given the fact that it is unlikely you would succeed and the costs involved it is not worth bringing the claim.

Your only other alternative is to raise a constructive dismissal case, on the basis that the treatment of the employer was so bad that you had no alternative but to resign from your employment. As you have left your job anyway you have nothing to lose from raising this claim, which you can raise using the form you will find at www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

In order to raise the claim you would first need to write to the employer to say that you have been left with no alternative but to resign as their actions have made your continued employment untenable.

They will try to defend this by stating that you had the option of continuing with the process and the fact that you were being invited to a disciplinary hearing did not mean that you would be found guilty of the allegation against you and that you could or should have continued with the process.

I realise that that this is not the answer you were hoping for and I am sorry you have experienced this situation at work. It would be unfair though for me to give you false hope.

If you have any further questions please do ask. If you are satisfied with my answer I would be grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating as I am not otherwise credited for my time.

Thank you and all the best for the future.

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