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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work as a self employed analyst and was recently dismissed

Customer Question

Hello, I work as a self employed analyst and was recently dismissed last Friday without discussion, warning or notice by a Client for reasons that are wholly unsubstatiated. I was told I did not 'fit with the culture' and insutltingly my work was not of a sufficient standard. The culture was very unprofessional and one of kindergarten gossiping and clique style bitching, very nasty. I certainly didnt fit with that. However more importantly I am deeply offended and insulted by the sub standard work comment, which I beleive to be a lame and unfounded excuse to get rid of me due to personality conflict. I am a consumate professional with a long and successful record of achievement, without any sich issues. I believe what I have been subjected to is tantamout to a form of harrassment, bullying and victimisation by a few people within the clients organsation who have sought to defame my character. Can you tell me what my recourse is in this situation please? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello were you due any notice under contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben, the notice was in terms of resignation not dismissal. I would have had to give 3 months, the agent for whom I had a contract for services had to give me one month. However I'm not so interested in the notice period per se or any financial considerations, I'm interested in protecting my professional reputation.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you I will get my response ready and get back to you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, here is some information on defamation as promised. 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. You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion. There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you for the information Ben, and the call yesterday. You have clarified the position sufficiently and helped me to understand the best next steps to take.
Kind Regards
Amanda
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, all the best