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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13939
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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We recently dismissed an 18 year old employee for

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We recently dismissed an 18 year old employee for performance issues. Whilst the father is writing emails on his behalf without written consent, the mother decided to publish a negative review on our restaurant’s Facebook page, stating “treat staff poorly, expensive food, tiny portions, and expensive drinks” the comment has since been removed however does this still count as libel?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: East Midlands, uk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

1.  The first point is that even though the negative review has been removed, the fact that it was published to the world at large, means that it would constitute an actionable defamation should you decide to sue.  Essentially, once there has been publication to more than one person, it is an actionable defamation or libel.  The second point is that the comment written must be false to be actionable.  So, to prove your case in libel, you would need to show that the allegations "treat staff poorly, expensive food, tiny portions, and expensive drinks" were false.  Additionally, you would also need to be aware that there is a defence of fair comment allowed.  So, if what was said was justifiable as being a comment on facts, this would not constitute libel.  So, you need to show that this was not a fair comment on facts stated in the review.  Ultimately, these matters would have to be proved if you were to succeed in your action in libel against the mother of your former 18 year old employee.

2.  If you require clarification or if there is additional information you wish to share, I will be happy to assist further in the resolution of your Question.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you. In terms of proving they were false, they have dined with us, but due to their son working here at the time, were given an employee discount of 25% on their total bill. Would this constitute proving the claim is false?

3.  This would not prove the claim is false.  You essentially need to show that you treat staff well, not poorly, that the food is not expensive that the portions are not tiny and the drinks are not expensive.  These would require evidence from staff members and management to show the restaurant is none of these things.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Excellent. I believe that’s something we can achieve. Thank you for your time today

4. You are welcome. Glad to be of assistance.  Best of luck with the claim.

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