If you’re being badmouthed by someone in your community, it could be actionable as a defamation claim. A communication is defamatory if it tends to harm your reputation to lower you in the estimation of the community or deters other people from associating or dealing with you. Determining whether a statement is capable of conveying a defamatory meaning requires that the words “be reasonably interpreted and must be construed in the plain and popular sense in which they would naturally be understood in the context in which they were used and under the circumstances in which they were uttered”. The context and totality of the implication of the statement is looked at as well as the content of the statement.
A claim for defamation may not be brought if the false statement was made within the workplace, because such injuries in the workplace fall under the workers compensation act. Opinion statements are not defamatory. Statements like, “he was not a very good employee and I would not hire him back”, are not defamatory. In contrast, a false statement of specific fact such as, “we fired her for stealing”, could give rise to a defamation claim.
If someone makes false claims against you, your remedies may include a monetary valuation of the harm to your reputation, plus punitive damages.