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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45357
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Defamation of Character I am need of some advice please.

Customer Question

Defamation of Character
Hello
I am need of some advice please. I left Welfare to Work after 9yrs working hard and making a good name for myself which went on to gain me new employment with a charity near where I live. I also had worked for this charity FOR 2YRS WHILST WORKING FULL TIME TOO.
I started this new job as their Area Manager where I was to be over looking their 15 shops working closely with their Retail Shop Managers. A few weeks after starting my Manager Michelle Nicholls who is the General Manager for the retail arm of the charity received an e-mail or phone call informing her that the assistant manager at ***** ***** served them. The sale came to £12 the assistant manager informed the customer to give just £10 and not worry about the £2 nut failed to ring this through and put the £10 under the till. The General Manager decided to employ a private company and mystery shop this shop to see if anything was going on. The General Manager informed me that the shop had been visited by this company and out of the 4 times the assistant manager was on the till 3 of which she failed to ring up goods and placed the money either under the till or a carrier bag. The assistant manager was suspended and a hearing set. I was asked if I had ever seen Sue take money, which I hadn't as I worked in the back sorting on a Saturday afternoon, however she had offered me goods for nothing and I made statement to this effect and also I was told by a volunteer just before she was suspended that she had given him a canvas painting worth £10-15 in the shop AND THE VOLUNTEER INFORMED ME THAT HE ONLY PAID £3. I signed this statement and I know it was heard in the hearing. The assistant manager had told her very good friend Koula who I had placed in the shop two years ago on a placement but she stayed on.
I visited the shop on a few occasions to try and get the shop back on its feet as it was filthy, volunteers had not been managed as the assistant was spending more time on the till than managing the volunteers.
On the 9th of October there were 4 of us in the back sorting room including myself two at one end I was at the other end and there was a young large girl behind the sorting table which was piled high. I asked the larger girl to come with me as I had something I would like her to do for me she agreed and then hesitated as she had to climb over some donations, she stumbled and I steadied her by holding her lower arm and elbow, I went on to say are you okay sure, she said yes and I said to lighten the situation your suppose want to come with me not me take you.
I never thought any more of this and we went to the shop floor and started working. I visited the shop a couple of times and didn't see or hear anything I even had a gentle chat with this young lady and her friend as they asked my advice on a cardigan and how much to put it out for. On the 29th of October I could see that something was not wright this young girl could not look me in the face and another lady turned away to work whilst I helped out on the till. I assisted the covering manager wright up to closing again when I locked the shop this young lady looked so uncomfortable when she saw me, I did not think to question it. I was to be on holiday for three days the following as I turned 50yrs and came back to work on the Thursday 5th. I was asked by me General Manager to close her door as she had some sensitive information to talk to me about, she went on to say that there had been 2 complaints sent in one about H&S saying I left people in an unsafe place to work as they had boxes ready to be collected that weren't the two people making this complaint had signed the letter. The other complaint in the same writing was a complaint saying that I had actually assaulted this young lady that I had grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her.
I felt sick to the pit of my stomach as you can imagine, although I know I am innocent of this it did not make me feel any better.
I was told not too worry as I know you did not do this but we have to investigate it anyway. My manager said leave the H&S to me that is one I can deal with the other one is being dealt with HR and I was investigated on Monday 9th November as soon as I arrived at work. It worked out that both letters had been written by Koula the assistant managers friend. I feel that she wants me to loose my job as her friend has been dismissed from her post although she has appealed at the last minute and awaiting a new hearing date.
I am now left waiting to hear my outcome whilst the company do know that we have a lot of issues at this particular shop as there were more people involved than we thought although we are unable to prove this apart from the assistant manager. I need to know what should I do? I have never raise my hand to anyone I have always worked. Why would I assault someone with witnesses and why would I assault someone who is on a placement at one of our shops it doesn't make sense.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello what are you hoping to achieve please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All I want is my name cleared I have never raised my hand to anyone ever.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben the other two people that were in the back have also signed the letter that was written by Koula saying that I dragged this large volunteer, which I would not be able to do any way not being cruel but she is a big girl. Why make a complaint two weeks after the event, why not go to the police, and why did she not make a compliant to her agency who placed her with us? Does not make sense.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
So how long exactly have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a new job I started beginning of September. Good start hey?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now. First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are: 1. The statement has to be untrue.2. It must directly identify the complainant.3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect. Something else you have going against you is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). So regardless of whether the comments were untrue or not, they could dismiss you anyway without having to follow a fair procedure or show that the complaints were true. I suggest you raise a grievance in work to complain about what has happened but bear the legal position as mentioned above. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45357
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben for your honesty. Sandra
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best

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