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VIC Defamation by Employer - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by tommy, 1 November 2014.

  1. tommy

    tommy Member

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    Hi

    I desperately need some help.

    I have been working through a recruitment agency recently and was employed casually by one of their clients. After one day I was not asked to come back and after more than one week of ringing the agency asking them what I had done wrong they eventually decided to tell me that their client had complained that my work performance was substandard and that I could not return. They mentioned some other details such as, I had been moved to a different area and that I would not do what I was told. All of this is entirely false and as a matter of fact I was praised on several occasions for the help I provided, I was never moved, nor was I substandard.

    I know this is a case of mistaken identity though when I approached the agency to find out what the problem was they were slow to react. I had to push hard. Then the place where I had worked said that they would give me "one more chance", infuriating to hear that, and I went back and tried to find out why they thought that I was substandard and I was confident that once they saw me they would realise they had made a mistake.

    In fact the opposite happened. They wouldn't answer my questions and proceeded to divert the topic by referring to their rules. I asked them to speak to the person who had said this about me and they wouldn't . They completely flicked me off. There was another person in my area who was slowing everyone down and allot of the employees complained about his lack of pace and effort. I though that they had mixed me up with that person and somebody would be able to verify this. When I identified the person who was slowing up the line the managers kept telling me that this was his first day and it couldn't have been who I thought it was. I insisted that it was and they kept telling me that I was wrong.

    After asking around, it turns out that that his is the owner's child and it seems somebody is trying to protect him and subsequently blamed me. I can't seem to get any traction on this matter.

    I don't want to work there anymore but the unfortunate problem is the employer complained to the agency and they now have this comment on my record. This defamation will no doubt affect my chances of getting future work and I want the comment removed. The agency doesn't seem to care and won't pursue it any further and the employer probably won't ask me back because I confronted them about the matter.

    Is there something from a legal perspective that I can do here under employment law? It's the damage to my reputation I am concerned about. Especially when it is entirely false and I believe contrived to cover up for someone else.

    Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. The longer this drags out the more difficult it will be to solve.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tommy,

    You may have a case in unfair dismissal. Have a chat with the Fair Work Ombudsman about this matter and see if they can assist. This is a much easier action to take than trying to make out defamation.
     
  3. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

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  4. tommy

    tommy Member

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    Thanks for that. I'll definitely keep it in mind. It looks like I may be getting some traction on this issue after all.
    Time will tell.
     

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