Sometimes, an employer or co-worker will say or write something an employee believes is harmful to his or her reputation. To prove defamation in Nevada, an employee must show there was:
- A false and defamatory statement made by the defendant about the plaintiff;
- Unprivileged publication to a third party;
- Fault amounting to at least negligence on the defendant’s part; and
- Actual or presumed damages.
Actual damages means there is some provable, measurable damage from the statement. If the damages are not actual, they can be presumed if the statement involves one of the following assertions:
- That the plaintiff committed a crime;
- That the plaintiff contracted a loathsome disease;
- That a woman is unchaste; or
- That the allegation would tend to injure the plaintiff in his or her trade, business, profession, or office.
It’s important to remember that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech. As a result, the reputational harm from a third party’s false statement should be real and substantial before you pursue a defamation claim. Contact me today if you believe you have a case of defamation, or if you are an employer who needs to defend against a defamation claim.