"Only a low life would find joy in destroying other people's lives through defamation of character." - Unknown
Working in a toxic environment is one thing, but what about when you decide to leave said toxic environment? What kind of things will happen? What might be said about you once you leave such a place? In all honesty we shouldn't care about what happens to a toxic workplace environment when we leave it, however, we do not really think about what might be said about us once we have left. The rumor mill starts, people gossip, and people even get thrown under the bus even after they have left the company. Unfortunately this happens more often than we realize, and when it occurs the person that is being targeted is unsure of what to do or how to deal with the entire situation itself.
But what is defamation of character? What does it look like? According to Webster's dictionary defamation is the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel. There are several cases every year that are taken to court due to defamation of character at several businesses across the country, and between 25% to 40% are able to win. So, what does it look like? (* For legal purposes names have been changed ).
Rae spent over a year working at a company as a manager, and during her time there she was able to bring in more clientele, upped the reviews,created a strong relationship with those who decided to partner with the company, as well as created a system of making the company work more efficiently and smoothly. However, during her time there Rae had run into an issue with another coworker, Hilary, who kept slandering her name, as well as trying to sabotage work partnerships by damaging Rae's name and saying things such as "Rae never did that, in fact, she said it was a waste of her time" or "I do everything around here, I'm more qualified than her. She never does anything right, she does nothing at all."
After leaving the company Rae began a new position at another company, she actually began to enjoy her new job, coworkers, and the details of her job very much. But then she started to receive text messages and phone calls from former coworkers about the things that Hillary was saying and doing. In fact, Rae heard that Hillary was slandering her name by ruining good things she had done for the company and for her former coworkers. Hillary ended up creating a toxic environment even more by bullying the coworkers, and several companies ended up breaking up their partnership with the company, leading their own company dwindling down pretty fast. So, not only did Hillary ruin the company, in the process she slandered a good former employee's name.
Unfortunately this happens more often than it needs to be happening. Defamation of one's name and character is a horrible thing, and when it happens in a place where the company is toxic then the possibility of anyone wanting to work there becomes less and less.