As a business owner, there are few things more important to you than the reputation of your business. So when someone says something derogatory about your services or the way your business operates, it can hurt you both emotionally and financially. Potential clients may see it and decide not to use your business because of what someone else said. Now what if the derogatory remarks were false and made by a former employee or a competitor who is looking to ruin your business?
In that case you may be able to file a defamation suit and recover damages for the injuries to your business and your reputation. In order to prove that your were defamed, there are a few requirements:
- A statement has been written or spoken about you by a second party.
- That statement has to have been "published," meaning it was seen by a third party. This does not mean it has to be "published" in the traditional sense.
- The statement has injured you in some tangible way, like damaging your reputation and causing you to lose out on work.
- The statement has to be demonstrably false. True statements, even when they hurt, aren't considered defamation.
- Finally, the statement can't fall into a protected category of speech. One example would be someone testifying at a trial.
If you feel the defamatory statement meets these requirements, you may want to consider speaking with an employment law attorney. He or she can listen to your case and may be able to help you move forward with it.