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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68098
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I wanted to know if I have a strong case against my manager

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Hi. I wanted to know if I have a strong case against my manager at work for defamation.
Assistant: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: My manager wrongly accused me of being angry and violent at work in a surprise meeting he set up with HR without my knowledge. As a black man I took these allegations very personal as it’s a known stereotypical description of my race. My manager at a later meeting that I arranged with HR apologised
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I have no union just me
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: im a permanent staff

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I began employment there on the 21st of January 2019

Thank you. 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 rather difficult to pursue. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities in doing so. I will try and clarify the position below.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. There has to be a defamatory statement - the assessment that is often used to establish this is whether the statement tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally

2. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant – this will vary based on what effect it will have but it really has to be something sufficiently serious

3. The statement has been published by the defendant to a third party

4. The claimant must prove that the words complained of were published about him - this should not be an issue if the claimant is named or clearly identified.

Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has taken place, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is often complex and prohibitively expensive. A claim must be made in the High Court and will likely require the help of professional defamation lawyers, so the costs will often be high right from the outset, usually in the thousands. There is also no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally.

You must also consider whether the publisher of the statement can potentially defend the claim. For example, this can happen by proving the statement was true or an honest opinion which could have been made based on the available facts.

Instead of starting legal proceedings it would be best to raise a grievance first and then ask for the publisher of the comment to retract their statement and issue an apology. You can also appeal the outcome of the meeting if you are not satisfied with its outcome.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can’t afford a phone all at this moment. Just needed help.

Don't worry about calls, they are optional - did you see my answer above?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sorry I didn’t see your message above in time but many thanks for your advice. I’m satisfied with your assessment and will let it go. Thank you

All the best

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