Discussing Employee Conduct: Defamation Risks

May 25, 2023 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Michelle Galbraith, J.D.; Employment Law Expert, CalChamber

Defamation is a claim that injury to one’s reputation resulted from a false statement — and in the workplace, defamation claims can potentially arise when responding to reference checks.

“During reference checks, employers may communicate truthful information about current or former employees to prospective employers,” said Bianca N. Saad, CalChamber’s Vice President of Labor and Employment for Content, Training and Advice. “However, relaying subjective information about employees’ conduct, even if the employer believes it to be true, could lead to a defamation claim.”

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