Do I have a per se defamation lawsuit against the supervisor, cop and nurse whose utterances of false accusations to the board of directors led to my termination?
Question Details: I have been employed full-time for 4.5 years with the same company. My supervisor accused me of being under the influence of drugs. Then security and my supervisor escorted me to medical where my vitals wee taken and eyes examined. They said that I had a high heart rate and that my pupils were dilated and not reacting to light. An outside lab was called in and I was asked to take a urinalysis drug test. Company policy states that, "If reasonable suspicion is raised a saliva methodology test will be ordered". I was never offered the chance to take a saliva methodology test and I refused to take the urinalysis drug test. Company policy states that, "Refusal to take the saliva methodology test is the same as a positive drug test". I did not refuse the saliva test; it was never offered. I was then suspended from my job immediately after due to refusal to submit to a urinalysis. The case was sent to the board of directors who then fired me.
This would not be "per se" defamation. Defamation is the making of a false statement of fact to other people, which statement damages your reputation or causes you some loss or injury. Truth is a defense to defamation. IF you were on drugs at the time, then clearly it is not defamation to say that you were on drugs, since in this case, the statement is true. Also, opinions, even if harmful, are not defamation. If you appeared (e.g. based on your pupils or other physical signs) to be on drugs and they only said that you "appeared" (or something to that effect) to be on drugs, that is also not defamation, since their statement that to them, you "appeared" to be on drugs is only an opinion (their subjective impression), and opinions are not defamation. Only if they said something definitively factual, such as "he/she IS on illegal drugs" when in fact you were not, might this be defamation.