A fired worker sued and won $5.7 million against his employer for wrongful termination

Workers suing their former companies for wrongful termination and discrimination are increasingly adding defamation claims to their lawsuits.

The defamation claim often alleges that companies gave false reasons for firing a worker.  About 60 to 70 percent of the wrongful termination and harassment cases include defamation claims, “whether or not they’re appropriate.”

A defamation claim made a difference in a lawsuit by an employee, who alleged that Kemper Independence Insurance Co. wrongly claimed he wasn’t coming to work in the morning before firing him. The employee lost his retaliation and wrongful termination claims. But he won a defamation judgment of nearly $5.7 million last year in the Sacramento, California, case.