What can I do regarding slander from a previous employer?
Question Details: I was having a background investigation done for a security clearance and the investigator asked me about substance abuse. I have never used illegal substances of any kind. The investigator told me that one of my previous employers stated that prior to employment there, I had a substance abuse problem but it wasn't a problem while I was working there. Again, I have never used illegal substances of any kind. They have no proof that I ever had a problem. I do not know where they got this information or why they said it. However, it has negatively affected my security clearance. What legal action can I take?
You can sue your former employer for defamation. Defamation is a false statement made with knowledge of its falsity communicated to a third party who recognizes the defamatory content and the statement is injurious to your reputation.
Each repetition of the defamatory statement is actionable in a lawsuit for defamation.
Slander is spoken defamation.
Libel is written defamation.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for defamation includes emotional distress, lost income, loss of friends or associates, and if applicable, physical illness.
You can seek punitive damages (a substantial amount to punish the intentional wrongful act of your previous employer).