5. If we are employers, to what extent are we liable for the acts of our employees after they have published something defamatory of others?

Generally speaking, an employer is vicariously liable for the acts of its employees where the employees have acted within the scope of their duties and the authority of their jobs. If this is the case, you (as the employer) may also be liable for defamation.

Under section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, if you are an employer who is vicariously liable for your employees' acts, you may have the chance to rebut the above presumption (i.e. to make a successful defence) by proving that the publication was made without your authority, consent, or knowledge, and that you have not been negligent yourself (e.g. you or the person in charge of the job had duly checked the article before publishing it).

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