A trial court erred in dismissing an employee’s slander per se claim arising from a manager’s statements that she used drugs on company time and visited pornographic Web sites via company computers where fact issues existed as to whether the statements were made with malice, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled last month (Barker v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., N.C. Court App., No. COA99-162, 2/1/00).

The employee’s tortious interference with contract claims against the company and two managers could also proceed due to fact issues surrounding the accusing manager’s motives and the company’s possible ratification of his acts, Judge Ralph A. Walker wrote for the court.

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