Is This Defamation?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about former employer bad-mouthing a fired employee:

I got fired from my job and now the owner’s son who used to work with me is spreading rumors about me to customers who come in the store.

Signed, Talked About

Dear Talked About:

I’m sure it was very upsetting to be fired and even more upsetting to hear that the owner’s son is saying negative things about you. He may be doing exactly that—but maybe not. The only way you would know would be if a customer told you about it or if a former coworker is reporting to you. There is bound to be some exaggeration with it, especially if the person telling you doesn’t like the owner’s son. So, the exact truth is hard to know. The other thing to remember is that most of the people who might hear negative things will not know you well and will probably not believe the stories anyway. Most won’t care. Put your efforts and energy into gaining new skills and knowledge and demonstrating it in your work. Be the best you can be and don’t fume and fret over what might be happening at your old job. At the same time,your friends will be doing you a favor to not report all they hear. Move on in your life and leave the former work behind–except for learning from what happened and finding new work that you like better and where you can be more effective and successful. I can understand how frustrating it is to you to think or know you’re being talked about in a mean and untrue way. But, time will take care of that, as new conversational topics come along. In the meantime, you’ll be living your own life and creating a reputation so positive that no one will believe the nasty remarks. Best wishes to you in your life and work.

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