2 months ago I was fired for talking about hockey during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs (I workd as a temp for 6 mos). The conversations didn't prevent me from doing work (it was slow & I finished all the work given to me), my ex-supe just got fed up and demanded that I never talk about hockey again in the office, I told her it was an unreasonable request and she fired me for insubordination.
I work in an at-will state (CA) and I know as a temp I can be fired for anything... SO I WAS OKAY WITH THAT.
However, my ex-supe then made false statements about me to the temp agency that I work for (I constantly need guidance & that I had trouble initiating projects) and requested that I not ever work for the company again. The company is an international pharmaceutical company that pays very well and this has cost me many some well paying assignments.
During the 6 months. That I worked there my relationship w/ my x-supe was a very good one. I was shocked because we had a very good work relationship. In fact she sent me several e-mails praising my work and had made statements to me that a few of my projects that I came up with made the office run more efficiently... AND THAT SHE WISHED SHE HAD COME UP WITH IT.
I made hard copies of a couple of e-mails she sent me, and if I can get copies of my record at the temp agency, I know that there are no prior reports of problems at that assignment.
These claims have tainted my reputation at my temp agency and has made it difficult to get any more assignments.
Can I sue this woman in Calif. Small claims court for her false claims that caused me to lose out on work assignments?

p.s. Please don't chastise me for the actions that led to my firing, I know I was insubordinate and in retrospect should handled it differently. Just address the issue I am presenting: whether I have a case against this woman in small claims court, I would be much obliged. Thanks.