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Employment Practices - Part 1

A New York court ruled that disparaging statements made by a minister about a member of his congregation when asked by a prospective employer for a reference were not defamatory.

Key point 4-02.03. A number of defenses are available to one accused of defamation. These include truth, statements made in the course of judicial proceedings, consent, and self-defense. In addition, statements made to church members about a matter of common interest to members are protected by a "qualified privilege," meaning that they cannot be defamatory unless they are made with malice. In this context, malice means that the person making the statements knew that they were false or made them with a reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity. This privilege will not apply if the statements are made to nonmembers.

Defamation

* A New York court ruled that disparaging statements made by a minister about a member of his congregation when asked by a prospective employer for a reference were not defamatory because they were protected by a qualified privilege and had not been made with malice. ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2002

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