My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Texas
I was recently employed as the park manager of paintball park in Grapevine, TX. Despite the usual problems with being a new manager. the park had been poorly mismanaged previously, and it was my responsibility to turn the place around. With the exception of some resistance from staff unhappy with change and a disagreement with a colleague (the store manager) over how to handle customers, things had been running well and the park was turning around. On May 31st, as I was closing the park, the owner came up to me and stated that he was going to have to let me go. He said everything looked great and I was the smartest manager he had ever had; however, he felt that it was not working out and I was not getting along with the store manager. Therefore, he stated that the only option he could think of was to let me go. He stated that he had prayed about it and talked it over with his wife, but could not come to any conclusion but the aformention termination. We concluded things amiably and went on our way.
When I applied for unemployment for being terminated without cause, I was informed by the Texas Workforce Commission that the owner had challenged my claim. He sent them several witness statements saying I had made many racial and homophobic comments, and that was the reason for my termination. To clarify things, there had never been a manager, to my knowledge, fired for racism or sexual harassment. The environment was also high-spirited, juvenile, and competitive. My staff was nothing but high school/college age males who consistently talked trash without creation of any animosity. It was not uncommon for someone to call another a "homo" or "fag," but it was all in good fun and was considered normal when I arrived to the job. Even a Jewish-American staff-member called himself jewboy22 when he ordered food from Chipotle.
For the record, I am not a racist, nor have ever been accused of such publicly or at any other job. I am under the impression that the owner had these statement conjured up ex post facto to protect himself from paying unemployment. I was never given any warning to this behavior or my termination or informed that this was the reason I was terminated until it was after the fact. There was no offical company policy on this behavior. Since this was given to the state, this could become public information and diminish my chances to find new employment. Finally, these statements are the reason I was denied unemployment, thus hurting my financial situation. Is this a case for defamation/slander/libel?