"Libel" involves the publishing of a falsehood that harms someone. Slander is the same doctrine applied to the spoken word. Collectively, they are referred to as "defamation". Both are a matter of state laws, which usually (not always) require that the falsehood be intentional. (Wikipedia)
"Allegations remain assertions without proof, only claims until they are proved." (Wikipedia)
I would like to discuss "libel" & "allegations."
I received a written memo from my boss outlining false "allegations" based on what boss says "other people" said.
I asked boss who are these "other people." Boss could not respond.
The issue is, I started a new job with enthusiasm and earnestness to do well and to work collectively with a group of sales team members.
I successfully completed a long term training program with my team.
During the course of training, there were times that I asked some relevant questions in order to elicit a response to clarify my understanding and to also stretch the concept a bit further for additional learning purposes.
In this sales training environment, I soon learned that questions were not welcomed (just memorize the stuff we learned, shut up, do your job, etc...)
Another issue which may be completely irrelevant but I will share. I am 41 & I worked for a few weeks in the HR area and got hired into this sales area. I was also privy to salaries before I took this job.
I have a lot of related experience for this position I applied to. My colleagues are much younger than me and were also hired into the same position with higher salaries. I know because again I worked in the HR dept.
I remember politiely inquiring about MY OWN salary in the beginning -- and counteroffering to the hiring mgr due to the related work experience I've had & additional education I received.
Instead, I was offered a much lower salary & had few choices but to accept it & this job because my former position was being eliminated.
Since I've started this job, (and I know there are NO laws on bullying in the work place & we each have a choice to either stay or go)...I have been bullied in a sense.
Boss has been 'tracking' my every move, and most recently gave me a memo outlining some "false allegations" that were said to him by other employees. I was not aware of this until he showed me his memo.
I asked boss "who" said these things? Boss said, "I can't tell you."
Also, boss assigned me a seasoned employee to work with me in the early part of the job to "show me the ropes." This person has not provided me with any useful information that would help me do my job well. This person actually gave me incorrect information while I was completing a bill to a vendor--and this resulted in my being "written up" for not following proper procedures.
When I told the boss that this is what the seasoned employee told me to do-- boss dismissed this and later wrote me up in a memo twisting all the facts around to make it look like I intentionally made a mistake.
Another incident occured where this seasoned employee yelled at me in my office and gave me specific orders to do something and when I was interrupted with a phone call, this employee grabbed my phone and hung up my call.
When I told my boss about this -- boss denied this and said the issue would be taken care of. Instead I was also written up about this incident.
I have no witnesses --
Boss said this memo is not as serious as a performance review but will remain in my files.
I asked why there were no written memos about my good performance (which I have kept a record of) including some positive feedback I've received from my peers. I said even during training I did outstanding on my work in the class. No absenses nor illnesses reported.
Boss said this isn't the purpose of this memo. It isn't written to address what you've done well it is for correction of "my behavior" which has been unacceptable and unprofessional.
My response (??????)
Obviously, I am in need to look for other work. And this concerns me a great deal for reasons:
1. my age (41) (single)
2. timing since I just started this job & the Co. put a lot of money into each employee to train them.
3. I may not be as fast, but I certainly am not slow.
4. I'm not outdated in my appearance, I'm professional, and am eager to do my job well.
5. I do ask questions though that have concerned me-- but I try not to make any waves.
6. This is a sales environment--and I've seen a lot of unscrupulous things go on -- which I keep to myself.
I'm unable to get direct answers from my boss. It appears that I've been falsely accused of statements that aren't true (things boss says I've said).
Is boss's memo to me which includes false allegations considered "libel?" The statements in the memo were untrue and were put in my HR file. I asked HR about this and they sided with boss. "It's just a counseling memo."
If any other department manager saw this, this could certainly hinder my chances of seeking a position in another dept. (my thinking) and not only that, but god forbit I was laid off or terminated, I bet this could also be used against me if I applied for unemployment.
I am aware of "at-will" employment and I am in a state that has this.
Any ideas on how I can protect myself?