Employment Defamation Case Study: Adviser v. Finance Firm

employment defamation lawsuit and lawyer
Has a boss, company or HR representative disparaged you or your job performance? If yes, you may have a winnable lawsuit on your hands.

A recent employment defamation ruling involving a finance broker serves as a beacon of hope for anybody looking to sue their employer for libel or slander.

Adviser v. Finance Firm Defamation Lawsuit

Rene Espinoza worked for Merrill Lynch as an adviser. For whatever reasons, he eventually left the company. Unfortunately, his departure didn’t go smoothly. The finance corporation accused Espinoza of breaching a promissory note – and related expenses – worth approximately $200,000. Moreover, his outgoing paperwork indicated that he was fired “for cause.”

Ultimately, the case landed in arbitration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). After a 5-day hearing, FINRA officials concluded that Espinoza didn’t act unlawfully. Specifically, the panel ruled that “the evidence established that Merrill Lynch’s written policy was not violated.” Additionally, FINRA authorities concluded that there was “no evidence that Rene Espinoza acted dishonestly” and, therefore, ordered the expunction of his unflattering exit forms.

What You Need To Prove To Win A Professional Defamation Lawsuit Against Your Employer

To win an employment defamation lawsuit against a business, plaintiffs must prove that:

  1. The employer either published or spoke an unprivileged false statement of fact about the employee;
  2. The false statement of fact caused the employee material or reputational harm;
  3. The employer acted either negligently or in their own material interest;

What is statement in question is true, but unflattering? You still may have a case. Firstly, we don’t live in Utopia. As such, it’s possible to win a libel lawsuit if there isn’t sufficient proof of the accusation. Moreover, depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to win a case arguing false light,  publication or private facts, or another reputational tort. It’s best to speak with an attorney well-versed in the niche.

Contact An Employment Defamation Lawyer

Kelly / Warner handles all manners of business and professional defamation lawsuits. To learn more about our slander and libel law practice, head here. If you’re ready to speak with an employment defamation lawyer, set up a consultation.

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