Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
I have been called a poor performer and my attendance and credibility has been questioned, which has created a hostile work environment. How do I handle this as a federal employee?
I do not have enough information to answer this question. Generally, supervisors acting within the scope of their employment who accuse a subordinate of poor performance or attendance issues, even if the accusation is maliciously false, cannot be sued for defamation. An employee who has been unjustly accused of poor performance or misconduct can, of course, file a grievance or an EEO complaint.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.
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