A salesman sued his employer for unlawful termination, alleging he was fired for not taking clients to strip clubs. But, a judge dismissed his case. Then, the company counter-sued for defamation.
Employer v. Employee Business Defamation Lawsuit Over Stripper Allegations
Now, let us abandon naivety; salespeople have been known to close a deal – or a lifetime’s worth – over ribs and, errrr, racks. But the p-rn industry aside, few U.S. companies would welcome accusations of prurient activity on company time.
So when Michael Vackar alleged that he was fired for not treating customers to strip clubs, Superior Supply & Steel (“Superior”) filed a business defamation lawsuit.
Attorney Made The Stripper Comment On ‘Behalf’ Of His Client
Reports on the case are vague, but from what we can decipher, the stripper accusations came about thanks to a post-lawsuit press conference held by Vackar’s attorney in which he blamed his client’s ouster on Vackar’s refusal to do business in Gentlemen’s Clubs.
Company Insists Salesman Fired For Shady Expense Reports And Nothing More
Spokespeople for Superior, however, say Vackar got fired for one reason and one reason only — shady expense reports. Four of them, to be precise. To bolster its claim, the company submitted several affidavits from current employees affirming that Superior has never ever told personnel to entertain clients at strip clubs. Executives also point to the company handbook, which files strip clubs on the naughty page.
Judge Sides With Business In Defamation Suit Initial Proceedings
Vackar’s attorneys tried to get the case dismissed, but the presiding judge sided with Superior, saying, “Sanctions are warranted.” He reasoned:
“Superior has submitted uncontroverted evidence that at least some of what Vackar’s counsel told the media was false.”
“There are no witnesses who support Vackar’s version of events, although Vackar, through counsel, stated that there were ‘certainly’ multiple witnesses to Superior’s demand that sales representatives take clients to strip clubs, obtain sexual favors for the clients, and videotape them for blackmail. All the witness affidavits and declarations are to the contrary.”
Defamation Law Is All That Matters In This Case; As such: Advantage Business
Some of you may be reading this thinking, “Yeah right. I don’t trust the purity of Superior’s corporate culture one bit – and now the ‘little guy’ unfairly loses again for telling the truth.”
You could be right. Or, you could be 100% wrong. Either way, it does not matter. What matters is the law – and this is a straightforward employer v. employee defamation case.
Truth ≠ Winning
To be blunt, businesses can sometimes win a defamation lawsuit when a truthful statement is at issue. (Note: We are NOT saying that Superior is lying in any way shape or form; we’re just stating a fact about the law, separate from the Superior case.)
Bottom line: Superior has proof that Vackar made a false statement of fact about the company’s professional ethics. As such, their chances of winning this business defamation case greatly improved.
Contact A Business Defamation Lawyer
If your business is dealing with a libel situation – and you want to fix the problem instead of letting it fester – get in touch with Kelly / Warner Law. We’ve successfully handled many business defamation lawsuits involving former employees.