My question involves defamation in the state of: Illinois.
My friend was just terminated from a managorial position at a restaurant/bar after 5 1/2 years of service and no write-ups. It was sudden and out of the blue.
According to the termination letter, which my friend has not yet signed, they let him go for "missing work" on a particular date. I happen to know that it's true that he did not go into work for a scheduled shift, but instead got coverage and took a personal day. He was allowed a certain number of personal days in his manager "contract".
Other reasons listed were from heresay by staff members.
Illinois is an at-will employer state, so I know that they are allowed to just drop him at any time. However, since the termination, I know from staff members and regulars who are still friends with us that at least one of the owners is running his mouth about what a horrible person my friend is. We've even gotten wind of an account where he sat down with one of the regular customers and went on about my friend.
Is there some law about the confidentiality of the circumstances under which one is terminated? Is there any ground to stand on for defamation of character?