Can I file defamation charges against a co-worker who erroneously accused me of harassment?

Bristol HarborQuestion Detail: I was falsely accused of harassment by a colleague, resulting in interviews of other colleagues and administrators via a formal investigation. Presuming justice prevails and I am found innocent by the administration, do I have any legal recourse against her for filing the false accusations with my employer, resulting in unjustified questions about my integrity and reputation among my colleagues and supervisors.

Answer: I suspect you’re not asking the question correctly. Filing charges connotes a criminal matter and I’m guessing you want to know about civil remedies, not criminal penalties. Assuming you’re asking me about civil damages you may be able to file suit, but you may win and also lose the case. It's hard to say whether you will or will not have a case for defamation. The first issue is one of damages; if there is no evidence of harassment how have you been damaged assuming the investigation is quickly done before any damage is done to your reputation? I'd wait till the entire investigation has been completed before asking, what if?

Steve Lombardi
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