A member asked over 7 years ago

Someone lied to get my friend fired

First some general info, my coworker and I both work full time in childcare and are 17.
So my coworker and friend has been having a fight with one of her friends for a couple of weeks now. She had proof of this girl cheating on her boyfriend but didn't want to say anything. My coworkers boyfriend saw the photo on her phone and confronted the cheater. The cheater has now gotten her boyfriend to threaten my coworker and say they'll get her fired - she has no proof of this though. The cheater is friends with my boss' teenage son and has told him that my cowoker has been telling people my boss discusses his sex life with us which isn't true. My boss is very angry at my coworker. What can we do?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. The threats to unfairly cause your co-worker to be dismissed from her job could be a form of intimidation or harassment, and the spreading of false rumours could technically be defamation.

However, when relying purely on the information provided, it seems that the cheater's actions may not be severe enough to take to court. Even so, there are many alternative dispute resolution services available to your co-worker and her former friend. You can see a list of service providers in NSW on the Law Society website (http://www.lawsociety.com.au/community/disputesandmediation/ADRproviders/index.htm). These services help people resolve disputes with the help of an impartial third party.

If the issue escalates and your co-worker begins to fear for her safety, she can apply for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) to protect against violence, intimidation or harassment. To apply for an APVO, a person can contact the police or make an application at a Local Court. Note, however, that an application may be refused if the court believes it is frivolous or has no reasonable chance of success.

If the defamation is severe or continues, your co-worker might have the option of suing for defamation. This must be done within one year from the date the false and defamatory information was communicated. If a court finds that the information was defamatory, the sufferer may be awarded money as compensation for damage to their reputation, any economic loss suffered, and hurt feelings.

Suggested way forward

In these situations, the best solution is for the people involved to communicate and find a resolution. If the issue remains unresolved, a dispute resolution service may help. It seems unlikely that court intervention is currently needed, but if the court becomes involves, your friend would benefit from seeking professional legal advice. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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