Is your office vulnerable to a defamation lawsuit?

Thursday - 12/1/2011, 10:42am EST

Debra Roth, a partner at Shaw, Bransford and Roth

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By Michael O'Connell
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

A Medal of Honor recipient recently accused BAE Systems of foul play. In a lawsuit, the former BAE employee accused company officials of saying he was mentally unstable and had problems drinking. As a result, he was not hired for another defense industry position.

"He's a private contractor," said Debra Roth, a partner at Shaw, Bransford and Roth. "But when you read the allegations, it seems that what happened was that he lost the opportunity to go back to this company because of security clearance issues."

According to Roth, state courts are beginning to allow defamation lawsuits like this in the private sector.

"It's kind of like the reference check," she said. "When the new employer is getting the reference check from the old employer, something is said that quashes the employment, and when the employee finds out, they're starting to file defamation suits."

Roth joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris Thursday to discuss the case and how it might impact your office.