Defamation and Loss of Reputation



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Defamation is the legal concept of loweringan individual’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person


Damage of Reputation

Libel refers to printed statements, whereas slander covers spoken statements that damage one’s reputation. All parties should remember that truth is a defence to defamation. If an employer makes an intentional misstatement or a reckless misstatement, the former employee can sue for loss of reputation. For an employee to obtain an award of damages for defamation, they must show that the words in question actually referred to them specifically and that the words were “published”, meaning they were communicated to at least one other person. An employer has several possible defences to a defamation claim by an employee. The first is truth – if the statement is true, there can be no defamation. The employer can also claim that the statement was covered by qualified privilege, meaning the employer had a legitimate reason for making the statement and shared it only with those who had a legitimate reason for receiving it. In such a case, the statement will be protected, even if false, if it was made without malice.

​If the former employer gives a negligent reference or makes a negligent misstatement which causes the employee to incur damages, the employee can sue in a separate action for negligent misstatement. Note that former employers are allowed to give honest references, even if they are less than glowing, so long as they are telling the truth. However, employers should always be careful of what they say to third parties with respect to the work performance and dismissal of former employees. Please see Spring v Guardian Assurance (1994), 16 C.C.E.L. (2d) 147 (H.L.); Young v Bella (2006), 261 DLR (4th) 416 (S.C.C.) and Litster v. British Columbia Ferry Corp. (2003), 24 C.C.E.L. (3d) 95 (B.C.S.C.). Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice. It is general information about the law. If you require legal advice with an employment issue, please contact the experts at Ball Professional Corporation.


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Google Reviews

Steven Wang
Steven Wang
19:58 18 Mar 19
Stacey was the third lawyer that I had hired to represent me, after the previous two didn't achieve anything for me. Stacey is very different. He is not only the author of Canadian Employment Law with profound knowledge and experience, he is also the most efficient one, direct to the point. He is the toughest one, well known by HR people, and he takes care of his client all by himself. There is no junior lawyers under him. That's the big difference comparing with other big employment law firms on Google, where I could only meet with a young lawyer with little experience. After he spoke with me for 45 minutes, he found the best way to break through. He didn't need to ask for a lot of document and he didn't bill hours to review them. His fee structure is aligned with his client's best interest. My problem was solved very quickly with a great result, and I only have to meet with him twice and exchange some emails. He's not just a tough fighter and negotiator, he got great strategy to make a deal. He answered my emails during the holidays. He comes in the office very early, and we had a conference call at 7am in the morning when we need to make a quick decision. To me, he is the best employment lawyer, a patient teacher and a friend. I strongly recommend him to those who need help.
Aiden Nix
Aiden Nix
01:13 06 Apr 19
Stacey was super helpful and increased my settlement a significant amount. He is very busy so you have to chase him down a bit but that is minor issue compared to all of the positives. Overall if you need a good labour lawyer then talk to him right away. He is THE lawyer to go to in Ontario!Thanks Stacey!
Sergei R
Sergei R
05:01 06 Dec 18
My experience with Stacey R. Ball was very positive. His fees are reasonable and value I received for the money was outstanding. Luckily, after his advice my situation was resolved almost amicably. You will not believe how reasonable some people can become after they start suspecting you have a good lawyer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you suspect you might need a lawyer in the future because of some developing situation at work, I highly recommend you wait no more and talk to Stacey.
Danny T
Danny T
18:34 26 Feb 19
Stacey has recently represented me. He’s patient, but to the point which I can appreciate. No fluff. He worked quickly and even responded during his holidays. Definitely highly recommended.
Alexa Arsenault
Alexa Arsenault
19:36 01 Nov 18
If I could give Stacey Ball 30 stars I would! Stacey was right on the “ball” when it came to my legal matter. I called his office and his efficient staff scheduled me for an appointment the next day. He’s a great listener and comes to the point quickly, confidently, and succinctly. He explained best and worst case scenarios and dealt with my matter without delay. He was successful in concluding my legal matter to my satisfaction and met all my expectations. I highly recommend Stacey for all your legal matters.Alexa
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