The internet is an excellent way to spread information quickly and widely. The problem is that it can be used to spread lies just as quickly as the truth. Digital technology has made it easier than ever for vindictive employers to defame former employees and make their lives harder.
That’s why it’s essential to understand internet defamation laws in California. Keep reading to learn what internet defamation is, the harm it causes, and how you can fight back under California law.
Defamation, Meet the Internet
Defamation has been occurring as long as people have disliked each other. The definition of defaming someone is simple: it’s the act of publishing a false claim, “unprivileged” (not specifically protected), and harms the victim. The person responsible for defaming the victim must either be negligent or malicious by publishing the statement.
Internet defamation is just defaming claims that are made online. For example, an employer that publishes social media posts about a former employee falsely claiming that they committed a crime is maliciously defaming them.
Similarly, a news website that uncritically publishes an employer’s false claim that an employee committed a crime is negligently defaming them. In both cases, someone is publishing false claims; the difference is whether they actively meant to harm or not.
The Harm Caused by Online Defamation
When employers defame former workers, the goal is often to “get revenge” on them. Unscrupulous managers often choose to take personal vendettas public by hurting a disliked worker’s ability to get hired in the future. It’s an efficient way to ruin someone’s reputation and make future employers think twice about hiring them.
That can permanently damage someone’s ability to find work. False claims about a person’s behavior on the job, such as work ethic, customer service, or criminal activities, can spread rapidly online.
As a result, defamed people may find that their applications for new jobs in their industry are thrown out without further consideration. Significant defaming claims can even force people to remain unemployed permanently because no one trusts them to work.
Fighting Back Against Defamation
If your employer is defaming you online, California law offers you the opportunity to fight back. Defamation is illegal in the state and carries heavy penalties. Unless the other party can prove that they are making a statement of verifiable fact, you can sue them for damages to your reputation and livelihood.
The best way to handle these lawsuits is to work with an expert defamation attorney. The right legal representation will help you build your case and fight for your reputation. They’ll help you collect proof that your employer is lying and either malicious or negligent.
To start fighting back against defaming claims, get in touch with the experienced team at AM+F LLP. They can help you prove that your employer is lying about you and hurting your career. Stop suffering from someone else’s vindictive streak and take back control over your career by taking legal action against the person or company defaming you today.