I had a short term job that I was fired from. I was told that someone tripped and was injured on something I left laying around, which in fact I didn't do. As "proof" my manager showed me images of images and a message. I won't get into the details but the "proof" is just ridiculous, the floor in the photo doesn't even match where the event was claimed to have happened. It would seem that my coworkers heard I was fired for this.

Is this defamation? When I asked management why they believed I did this they just say "someone told us".

Another way to phrase the question: does a employer have a responsibility to make some effort to determine if an accusation is true?

  • 3
    Your question mentions defamation but then you ask about whether an employer needs to investigate complaints to any degree of "truth". Please clarify what you want to know about. In either case, the exact accusations are irrelevant; the entire first paragraph could be summarised in one line without affecting the answer.
    – user4657
    Dec 19, 2021 at 9:38
  • How is this question different from your other one: law.stackexchange.com/questions/74919/…
    – jwh20
    Dec 19, 2021 at 13:40
  • @Nij I don't really get your point. But in other words, if someone makes a false accusation, if someone else believes it and spreads it around, is this defamation and if so which party is doing it?
    – pocketmoor
    Dec 20, 2021 at 0:58
  • @jwh20 I would like more details on the comment "A wrongful conclusion from facts does however not make defamation" If one person just says "I saw person xyz intoxicated at work" and xyz gets fired without a chance to defend himself. If people find out he was fired for being intoxicated (even though he wasn't) would this be defamation and if so on who (the company or the person who made the accusation)?
    – pocketmoor
    Dec 20, 2021 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


If A makes a false statement about B that harms B's reputation, that is normally defamation, unless some exception or privilege applies. If C repeats A's false statement, knowing it to be false, that is also defamation. If C repeats A's false statement possibly thinking it to be true, but under condition's where a reasonable person would know or suspect it to be false, that may be defamation, depending on the detailed facts and the view that the court takes.

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