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Gail Davis And Diana Ross Case Summary

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Gail Davis and Diana Ross held a business relationship, where Davis was an employee of Ross. During Davis’ time as an employee for Ross, Davis performed the duties of an Executive Assistant. Davis was not Ross only employee and the exact number of employees is unknown at this time. Based on information submitted, Davis held employment under Ross from January 4, 1982 -Nov. 5, 1982, approximately eleven months. The physical location of Ross and Davis’ business relationship took place at one of Ross’ establishments as recognized by the State of New York. To have in the court records, Ross is Diana Ross, a well known high profile singer, and actress, who potentially has influence, due to her well respected nature within the community.…show more content…
Ross provided her opinion publicly, concerning her perception of the professionalism, work and personal habits of previous employees. Ross can not be subjected to liability solely on the bases of providing her opinion, whether voluntary or involuntary. Hotchner v. Castillo-Puche, 551 F. 2d 910 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1977, “A writer cannot be sued for simply expressing her opinion of another person, however unreasonable the opinion or vituperous the expressing of it may be.” Ross is entitled to her opinion and the form in which she chose to deliver the information. Nevertheless, as a person of influence, a pillar within the community, accusations made by an individual of that caliber carries more weight than the ‘average joe’. Such statements made by a person of Ross status could create an economic hardship for the individual or individuals Ross is referencing. When an employer makes statements that could negatively impact the livelihood of a previous employee, the statements should be presented with factual evidence. The facts should include actual occurrences (properly documented) where the employee has proven to possess the innate ability to cause harm to his or her employer or…show more content…
The intention of Ross’ behavior are unknown, but the evidence suggest, Ross intended to create an a hardship for previous employees, potentially seeking other employment regardless of whether or not Ross was listed as a reference. Perhaps unknowingly to Ross this method of voluntarily providing reference created a hostile environment, defamed the character of each individual listed in her written document. According to Walsh (2013), defamation claims is when a person makes a statement about another person, that may damage his or her reputation and the ability for him or her to provide for self. Ross as an employer has a right to provide background information to future employer but attack of an individual’s character or providing meritless information is inappropriate and unjust. “A statement is defamatory per se if it tends to disparage a person in the way of person’s office, profession or trade” Nichols v. Item Publishers, 309 N.Y. 596, 132 N.E.2d 860 (1956). Ross directly states in her letter, “I do not recommend”, which bring in the question the character and ability to perform work, of the individuals listed, including Davis. According to Ballam (2002), employers are often caught in a tough situation of potential liability if the employer chooses to provide reference information as well as if they chose not to. Employers have a duty
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