I am an attorney the wants to help people use the law to help fight against bad bosses and hostile work environments.
Job Applicants Have Rights, Too
Are you are working hard at getting a new job, sending out resumes, getting interviews, being told you only have to pass a reference check, and then not getting the job? Multiple people have recently contacted me about this exact scenario wanting to know if the law provides them with any recourse at all. The answer is yes! You can file a lawsuit against your former employer for giving out negative references about you. You can potentially sue for defamation. This requires that you meet certain criteria.
- Your former employer must have made false statements about you.
- They must have published these false statements to an employer you applied to.
- Your former employer must have known with certainty that these statements were false.
- The statements made are not covered by the legal immunity of privilege.
- You must have suffered from these statements being made, such as losing out on potential earnings.
What Can an Employer Say in a Reference?
There are no federal laws that say what a former employer can and can't disclose about an employee. State laws can vary, but many states do allow your former employers to discuss information about your job performance and professional conduct. They can also disclose if you were fired and give a reason for your termination.
Of course, because of defamation laws, employers must give references that are completely accurate or they face being sued by former employees. This is the primary reason why so many companies today refuse to give out any information besides:
- Date of hire
- Date of separation
- Beginning wage
- Ending wage
- Job title
Each of these five things is totally objective. A company can prove that it was completely accurate and truthful with your job references if it only releases these five things. Many companies refer all letters and telephone calls about references to their HR department. They strictly follow the name, rank, and serial number approach to giving references. But many reference checkers purposefully avoid calling the Human Resources department because of this.
The End of an Employment Relationship Can Be as Nasty as the End of a Marriage
What happens is that a hiring manager from Company A will not call the HR department of Company B, but instead will call around to get a hold of your former manager, or a lower level supervisor. Frequently, line managers are annoyed by the HR department always telling them what they can and can't do, and who they can and can't talk to. They feel put-upon by Human Resources, and they may also feel jilted by the fact that you left, or they are still angry about your perceived short comings when you were working for them.
As a result, a lower level manager often decides on their own to tell the caller (the hiring manager from Company A) what a pain in the neck you were (not that you really were, but that's what the manager might wrongly believe). The larger the company, the easier it is to find someone, somewhere, who is willing to talk about you. In this way, a bully boss or abusive manager can continue to come after you even after you have left the company.
Also, employment relationships are the closest thing we have to family relationships. Companies often proudly say “We're like family here.” And just like a divorce, the breakup of a working relationship can cause feelings of resentment, betrayal, anger, and a desire for revenge. A former manager will occasionally act on these feelings by sticking it to you by giving a very bad reference to a company where you applied, even though you don't deserve it.
Can I Sue for a Bad Reference?
If your former employer gives out a bad reference that is false and you aren't hired as a result, you may have a case for a defamation lawsuit. Defamation is when an individual or organization intentionally makes a false claim to cause someone injury. To successfully sue for defamation, you must be able to prove the following.
- You former employer must have made false statements about you. They must be false facts and not opinions. Subjective claims such as feeling like you had an attitude problem or were hard to work with will not support a defamation claim. You also don't have a claim if any negative statements about you are true.
- Your former employer published a statement about you. This does not mean actually saying something about you in print. This merely means that they made a statement to someone about you, most likely the hiring manager at the job you applied at.
- Your former employer had to have known that the statement they made was false. If they had a reasonable belief that the statement was true, you have no case.
- The statement was not privileged. This refers to the legal immunity of privilege, which encourages open communication for a legal or moral duty. A good example is the communication between a doctor and patient or journalists making statements in the press that are in good faith. As long as a statement is made with no intention of malice, you have no defamation case.
- You must have suffered as a result of the false statement. You must be able to show that you did not get a job as a result of the lies told about you. Keep in mind that you will not have a case if you get a job somewhere else that offers the same level of compensation as the job you did not get.
How to Find Out What a Previous Employer Is Saying About You
If you suspect that a prior bully boss or abusive manager is trying to stick it to you by giving you bad references, you should take action.
- Go to the company that did not hire you and ask for a copy of your application and all the notes that went with it. Give them this request in writing and specifically ask for interview notes and reference checks.
- This will probably scare the company, who will think you are about to sue them for discrimination because they hired someone else instead of you. Keep a copy of your written request for yourself. If the company does not comply, see an attorney about writing a letter on your behalf, or opening a case for you and subpoenaing your application records.
- An easier, cheaper, and sneakier way to check what is being said about you is to have a friend pose as a potential employer and have them call and ask questions about you. Tell your friend to be chummy and to not take no for an answer. You can even find a friend who owns their own business do this so it is more legitimate.
After you establish that your former employer is saying something negative about you, you will have enough evidence to file suit, even pro se (meaning filing it yourself) if you need to.
How to Deal With a Bad Reference
A lawsuit should always be a last resort. It can be a costly endeavor, and the issue of a bad reference can be solved with more simpler methods. Here are some preemptive and reactive measures that can be taken before you call a lawyer.
- The first obvious step to take is to exclude any past employer from your references if you believe they will give a negative reference. You can call a past employer to inquire what they will say about you. If they will say something negative, or refuse to comment on what they will say, you should not use them as a reference.
- If a bad reference is unavoidable, try reaching out to mend the situation. Many managers will be willing to let go of previous hard feelings and be willing to leave a more satisfactory reference. Be sure to approach this conversation with compassion and understanding. Listen to their side of the situation and don't be argumentative.
- If a bad reference is factually inaccurate, you could reach out to Human Resources of your previous job before calling an attorney. You can tell them that your old boss has been giving out inaccurate information; don't say that they have been lying. If you can prove the information your boss has been giving out is wrong, HR will often make it right with the company they communicated with.
- If you can't get rid of a bad reference, be prepared to explain it to potential employers. Explain why the reference will be a bad one. Take responsibility and don't make excuses. Don't accuse your past company of being in the wrong. Admitting some mistakes and explaining how you will avoid them will show maturity to potential employers.
- You could potentially send your previous employer a cease & desist letter. The letter should include the name of the individual giving the false negative reference and the material of their reference. Explain what is being said about you and how it is harming you. Demand that they stop giving out inaccurate information. Threaten the use of a defamation lawsuit as an ultimatum.
Conclusion: Defamation Can Be a Powerful Weapon Against a Past Bully Boss
As you can see, the definition of defamation matches up almost perfectly with the act of a past employer giving you an unwarranted bad reference about you to a potential new employer. This is what makes defamation such a powerful weapon that job applicants can use to keep a past bully boss in check, and ensure that he or she doesn't try to continue trying to hurt you even after the employment relationship is over.
What's Your Experience Been?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Roberta on June 26, 2020:
As of July 28, 2019, there is a salary ban in WA state preventing employers from asking and disclosing salary history. The ban is aimed at eliminating the wage gap between men and women. This means that 1, 2, and 5 are only applicable now.
Lacey luke on March 18, 2020:
Need a lawyer to handle a slander or lible case. Have all supporting documents . Please need a lawer in dallas area
Simphiwe Mpengesi on March 06, 2020:
I was working on Anderson transport they blacklist me to get the job what can i do
Dennis Nowik on January 16, 2020:
Google Nowik vs Mazda Motors of America.
Andy on November 11, 2019:
I sued my ex employer for an injury and now he’s telling every job that calls for references that situation. Is that legal?
Aiman Latif on September 15, 2019:
I worked for a company for about three years. They terminated me after trapping me into various situations. Looking at what was happening around me, looks like everything that happened to me was associated with my relatives issues with me. After terminating me, my ex-employers joined my relatives and screwed me as much as one can imagine, in my personal life and at my jobs and educational institutes, everywhere. When I tried to talk to them to request them to stop, they took me to the court. In the court because of the nasty attitude severe anger of the judge towards me, for no reason, and no attorney or support for me, out of fear and nervousness of the authorities, I wasn't able to speak in my defense. Or we can also say, the judge never even allowed me an opportunity to speak and clarify anything in defense. The court decided that no communication ever should take place between my ex-employer and me or I would be put into jail upon the court orders. Therefore, I cannot communicate with ex-employers anymore. The relatives of mine whom my ex-employers welcomed to discuss me and screw me, are my very close relatives (cousins, former roommate, and sisters’ in-laws) but all of them very dangerous and wrong people and expert backstabbers. They have done other damages to me also. My father lives with me and the issue at this time is that my family wants me to allow them in my house and associate with them pretending nothing happened considering that they are community and only people I can socialize with also because I don't have a solid proof of anything that they did to me. My relatives held investigations over investigations and legal cases on me behind my back to find something against me to drag me to the court, all suggested by my ex employers also. Since we are all from the same community, information travelled to me quickly. When my relatives could not find anything against me, they agreed upon apologizing to me to end the conflict and act like nothing ever happened. They are using my family to get to me. Me and my family hardly speak because of this issue. All the plots, discussion and backstabbing against me takes place behind my back but travels to me eventually and I find out. I have no problem forgiving my relatives but since I don't trust them anymore, I want their apology through the court in writing also, not verbally or through email, to end this cat mouse game. Not only that but I want a thorough investigation done on me and them to find out the extent of damages I faced because of my relatives, coworkers, others and employers in the past 30 years. Since my relatives are a top-class liars, knowing that authorities are covering them, they would never bring the court letters. I want the law to make my ex-employers to send me letter with the list of people who talked to them concerning me. Legally it is my right to obtain that information from my ex-employers. Specifically, if my ex-employers contacted EDD to report me and my sisters, rather than my relatives when my ex-employers encountered my relatives. I sent the following letter to a coworker of mine (and a friend) from my ex employer’s company to forward to my ex employers and my ex-employers suggested my friend (co-worker) to forward the letter/email to EDD, which she did. Even through she doesn’t work at their company anymore but looks like she had to do it for the sake of her job, seeing how powerful my ex-employers and how much damage they can cause to one. I want to send my ex-employers the following letter, nicely drafted by an attorney, delivered to them legally. Can you help me in this matter or suggest to whom to ask for help? I can provide the names to fill in the blanks, once you have someone available to help me.
Can you please have the Alameda court draft a letter addressing me, with a list of all my relatives and other enemies, who met you or talked to you or talked to anyone else associated with your company, concerning me. Please ask me for the names if you forgot any. Don’t worry, if the names include my sibling. I know it was not her. It was her husband and sister in law behind it who used her.
In the letter please include the complaints about all the anonymous phone calls that you received from 2002 through now and any stalking’s that you assumed might have had to do with me. If possible, please explain in the letter how you handled my relatives. Such as did you call EDD or other authorities to report them? How did you report them and whom did you report? What I am trying to ask is, when you encountered my relatives did you report to EDD their names or my and my sister's names? If possible, please also include details like time and date of the calls and stalking’s to make it easier for the court to investigate the matter. Descriptions of their appearances how they looked like, their images, skin color, their English communication level, voices, etc. would be even more helpful. I have tried my best but can’t get any of the courts or legal authorities to hear or help me, which starts to look very strange to me because there are too many companies, my relatives and other people and legal authorities involved in this matter in order for someone to hide this matter any further.
Since you got yourself involved in all this by inviting my relatives and other enemies and listening to them, concerning me, I consider it to be my legal right to get the court letter from you and I find my request/suggestion to be the best course of action at this point to resolve this issue. It would make you and your company look ethical/good and can do justice to me, at the same time. You call yourself ethical people, so this is the most ethical way to deal with this situation.
DanielaMenegatti on September 13, 2019:
I have been working for a company for 15 years. I resigned 10 months ago with a new manger things weren’t running well. I have been applying for jobs for the 3 months.. l wasn’t getting any call back and l thought something is not right knowing l had 15 years experience. I got a friend to ring and pretend to be from a company and ask for a references. It was so dreadful. They stated l was aggressive to staff patrons and patrons where scared of me .. what do you think. I can’t get a job calls l don’t get any call back. Thanks
Erika on July 31, 2019:
I contacted an attorney to file suit against my employer for workplace intimidation, harassment, bullying, and retaliation and whether their fabricated, untrue reasons for terminating me were acceptable. In my situation, I reported to the Organizational Development Director, who was also the so-called HR Director, who was the reason my workplace became toxic - unable to approach HR with my concerns, and speaking with the CEO was unfavorable, caused me to feel stuck with no one to turn to.
I had been with my employer for 10+ years, never had any disciplinary or performance issues, until this particular HR Director was hired. Over the course of two years, I experienced intimidation, harassment, and bullying. I felt like I was targeted by my supervisor, who viewed my history, knowledge, and experience, as a threat, rather than allow herself to learn from me and openly discuss any concerns she had, she chose to criticize and judge me, while trying to make me feel inferior. Things progressed and she quickly learned that I would not allow her intimidate, harass, and bully me with her mind games, which resulted in her placing a target on my back. Early on, she did things to make it appear as though I wasn't doing my job appropriately in reference to Government compliance and various other things, and when her attempts failed, she requested to meet with me, where she tried to turn things, I called her out on, around on me, and found out that I refused to allow her to try to intimidate me. A few months later, she approached me and accused me of things I was not involved in, and told me we would meet to discuss. I told her that I wanted the CEO to be included and of course this made her angry and she said I would be written up and placed on a performance improvement plan. I did not have an opportunity to speak with the CEO prior to the meeting, so I sent her an email to provide some insight, however, I did not receive a response. The day the meeting was scheduled, I received an email from our Payroll Company stating my Administrative access was removed, and was cc'd on an email sent to the CFO, confirming my access was removed, which made me realize, my boss was planning to terminate me, during the meeting, without cause.
I decided to leave for lunch to gather my thoughts, and coincidentally, the CEO responded to my email right after I left - her response, "Got it, still expect to see you at the meeting" I responded to her to let her know that I discovered the hidden agenda and refused to walk into a meeting, only to be blindsided and terminated when I was never provided an opportunity to speak one-on-one with her.
After sending the email, my account was deactivated...no one contacted me after that. I made several attempts to speak with the CEO, but I never received a response from my calls/emails.
The day my boss approached me with false accusations, she told me I wasn't a team player... I asked her, if I'm not a team player, why am I here, to which she responded "Because you can't find another job" which I knew was a dig about me not having a college degree...but my response to her was that I guess she wasn't aware that another agency, offered me their HR Director position, but I was too dedicated to CPC and retracted my original acceptance - she said that wasn't what was in the rumor mill...I told her I didn't care about the rumor mill and that I'd be more than happy to show her the email correspondence I had with the other agency - she declined and two days later, I was terminated - which led me to believe I was terminated as a firm of retaliation.
After telling me I had several charges for a case, having me complete the extremely long intake and sending the documents they requested, following up with them several times which got me nowhere because he decided to drop my case...after the 180 days I had to contact PHRC or EEOC.
Maurice on May 01, 2019:
Need a name of a lawyer that i can contact for a defamation law suit
Barbara Joned on November 11, 2018:
I was terminated via text message while sitting in the computer lab at school 2 wks.shy of finishing probation. It was stated My food wasn't consistent. But the OWNER stated it's good. I season my water with cured meats cause of Southern Cuisine. I couldn't fry chicken cause it takes dark meat longer than white to cook. Mymac n cheese isn't good, but your ( the owner) kids love it. Everyone at the restaurant are friends, they drink during work hrs., shoe their breasts, shows their underwear, don't BELIEVE in washing their hands. I'm the only BLACK that was there. On my first day a lady walked up to me and said she.. is my best friend. They want you to go out and drink with them, I never did. I never hung out at the owners house. They helped me tremendously, but never I would have been terminated. It was stated I was given several warnings, but all at the same time, you have a METH JRAD working their whom has been give more times than JESUS had followers. I was not given a separation notice or anything. I got lots of text apologies, it is what it is.
Fiona on October 22, 2018:
My husband was referred by a temporary agency called Aerotek to work for a new establish company named VERICOOL here in Northern California. Before he started the owner of VERICOOL promised him a lot of things which made my husband leave the other job for this new Vericool company. What was very interesting about this, in about 3 a week before he completed his 6 months assignment, his boss named Norelle hired a guy named Michael and put him at my husband’s department. My husband was hired as a facility supervisor at Vericool. From what I heard, my husband asked his boss about this new person’s job description at his department. My husband kind of new Michael was his new replacement because he started telling everyone including himself of what to do. The two bosses at Vericool were very dishonest with him; telling my husband to go with the flow. Three days before his 6 months was completed at Vericool, his boss Norelle decided to let my husband go and told him that the new employee Michael is their new guy. To me that was a slap on my husband’s face. After a week since my hubby was out of work, he then contacted his recruiter from Aerotek agency; he left probably 5 voicemails and she never returned his call. During that time, my husband has maybe 3-4 job interviews and whenever he’s getting the last thing done which are his references with former employers, these companies he was interviewed with turned him down. My husband was so in the dark and didn’t have any clue why when he’s about to get his foot in the door, it always come back “no can do”. Today, my hubby got so suspicious and left another voicemail for his recruiter longing to find out of what went wrong with Vericool. Hours passed by the recruiter didn’t bother to call him back; so I dialed the main number of Aerotek using my phone and asked the operator to transfer me to Alex Badiola. What I didn’t understand, I have to dial the number in order for the recruiter to answer my husband’s most important questions of what feedback she was given by Vericool.. most of the feedback from Vericool were so negatives and the recruiter sat on it and didn’t bother to share these information with husband. Mean to say Alex Badiola only took and believed what Vericool was telling her instead of her picking up the phone and spare one minute of her time to listen of what my husband has to say. It takes two sides of the story for someone to make a truthful decision. Before my husband was let go by Vericool, the Fishery department and the Health department fined Vericool for polluting the creek with chemicals that the company is using for their product. In fact, my husband warned them not pour anything that is toxic into the creek, but the two big smart bosses at Vericool decided to put a free sign on those chemical containers, placed them in the street and it needed up in our neighborhood creek. We both found out, Vericool is the source and the reason why my husband is not getting hired by any of the companies he was interviewed with. I think this is a defamation of character and it really ruins the lives of those who are seeking for a job. My husband is rather working than be on welfare and have the tax payers pay for his meal.
Amanda jones on October 18, 2018:
Hi my husband was made redundant last year in august.he has excelkent references from them . But took him a while to get a job. Which we couldn't understand as his CV was perfect for the jobs applying. He has finally landed his dream job which he has had 2 previous interviews with fhis company . But the agency has taking him on so at least hes got his foot in the door. Tbis company runs background checks and we had email yesterday saying company would not comment due to negative feedback. We are stunned at this as we have written references. Tbe only thing we can think of is my hubby put a claim in against them as he had his thumb cut off due to it being there fault. Can they do this any help would be appreciated.
Dann on April 23, 2018:
I'm suing my former employer for unfair treatment and bullying. I transferred to another location after being mistreated for almost 6 months. I tried to seek another transfer out of state along with my daughter who also worked with me.Her and I were denied transfers after moving West even though there were plenty of positions available. I also had a friend call and ask for references. I found out I was being defamed by my former employer and I am sure my daughter is as well. Any recommendations? I filed for unemployment and am waiting for answers.
Metalguitarist on March 21, 2018:
I have a question. I went on an interview for a job and the 3rd party company that wanted to hire me after the interview was told not to hire any of my family. He was told not to hire anyone with my last name that was related to me. The person that said this was in charge of the 3rd party people and said this in front of other people. I have never worked for the guy that said this and he told someone he got into a disagreement with one of my sons. My son said he has never worked for this guy but did work for the 3rd party company and did get in a disagreement with the person in charge form the 3rd party company. How can someone discriminate against my entire family and get away with it? Can I sue this company that the guy works for? And if I can what attorney would take my case?
Billy on March 21, 2018:
I have a question. I went on an interview for a job and the 3rd party company that wanted to hire me after the interview was told not to hire any of my family. He was told not to hire anyone with my last name that was related to me. The person that said this was in charge of the 3rd party people and said this in front of other people. I have never worked for the guy that said this and he told someone he got into a disagreement with one of my sons. My son said he has never worked for this guy but did work for the 3rd party company and did get in a disagreement with the person in charge form the 3rd party company. How can someone discriminate against my entire family and get away with it? Can I sue this company that the guy works for? And if I can what attorney would take my case?
Glenn Gordon on March 14, 2018:
Why is so difficult to actually get information on this important issue? I have looked everywhere and all I'm getting are discussions and no real help. CAB are utterly useless. I need to know if I can get legal aid to sue a former employer?
No Confidence on March 13, 2018:
I once was a confident woman full of passion and love for my position, but that has been slowly stolen from me by my bully boss. It doesn't matter if I have a suggestion, make a comment or offer a solution, I get made feel like I am stupid and dumb. I have worked in this hell hole for 5 years. I applied for a position back in 2015 and was going to get an offer until the spoke to my bully boss. When I complained to him about an employee that wasn't working out, I was threatened. When I got the call from the potential employer that they were not going to extend the offer, I asked why, his exact words of threat came back to haunt me. I have continued to look, had several interviews both phone and in person and not one job offer. This position would have paid me $25,000 more.
Carl on March 09, 2018:
I left a large local Medical Center after almost 5 months. I gave notice and talked over with my supervisor that the job was not working out and that I was leaving. The job was misrepresented when I was interviewed. I thought that I was going to be working in a Doctor office type setting and ended up scheduling outpatient physical therapy for 16 offices and over 60 therapists. You can imagine the stress and pressure of that job.
About a month after resigning I applied for a different position at the same Medical Center and was informed by the Human Resources recruiter that no manager will hire me since only being there a little over 4 months would show that I was unreliable and that if I could show her that I stayed in a job one year or more she might let me come back and work at that facility.
I was pissed. Who is this recruiter to judge me and keep me from being hired. She is not a manager. I have tried to resolve the situation without spending money on a lawyer with no luck so it looks like I'm going to have to try to find a lawyer to help. I have been black listed and this recruiter is giving other employers bad references about me. Unbelievable.
Anonymous on February 25, 2018:
I left my company of 8 years after my role was changed and my old job given to an outside hire. This new hire was a crony of the COO and CRO. When conflicts arose between the new hire and me, I chose to leave.
I parted mostly amicably despite the bad taste in my mouth but embarked on a new job hunt. Almost immediately I learned of a job opening at a competitor to my old company. I was put in contact by a friend with the hiring manager and we got along like a house on fire.
I subsequently had two more interviews and when I asked what was the next step I was told, “Just send over your references.” I sent 4 stellar references the same day.
A little later my friend who worked at the company told me their big boss had reached out to somebody they knew at my old company and that “Somebody at X company doesn’t like you very much. Any idea who it might be.”
I did have an idea and I believed with total irony that it might be the very person who signed a mutual non disparagement agreement with me.
My friend and her boss tried desperately to figure out who had talked to their COO but he was tight lipped. I subsequently was told I didn’t get the job, a change of direction that made no sense considering the overwhelmingly positive initial recruiting calls.
Clearly somebody high up at my old company had torpedoed my job offer.
CEO on February 20, 2018:
I have worked for a major company and I was made redundant two years ago. The divorce was not nice. I have been offered a job at a supplier but before the supplier signed the employment contract with me asked the company (my former employer) if they have any problem me being the CEO. My former company has categoricly stated that they refuse to cooperate with the supplier should they hire me. Based on this answer the supplier withdraw its offer.
Marianne on February 10, 2018:
I resigned from my previous company ayear ago and my husband did not want me to work but I got bored at home and started looking for a job.
Went for thr interview and the training and then waiting for my references and found that my previous employer madecfalse allegations against me which I was not even aware of. Said I had a dicipinary...false...never had.,.no ketter no meeting no nothing...and two other allegations about ongoing investigations. If that was true why dont i have any letters, communication knowledge or any correspondence about that....??? How is this possible.
I can now not have my new job....the new manager called me in for a meeting and informed of this. Never been so humiliated in my life. What should I do????
Patty on December 13, 2017:
I have been trying to get a new job for months and found out today that a previous employer gave or has been giving bad references causing my chances of getting a new job or opportunity that I was told I was a perfect fit until they spoke with my previous employer. I was very excited for this opportunity although it was paying less than my expectations.
elachiyakumar on November 03, 2017:
i worked the company called prashanth projects ltd an indian comapny working in kenya ,without any reason i got fired by MD Bharat and not even paid ,after 4 month i been interviewed by sunteck realty ltd ,but they need feedback from last company, but company doesnt reply ,truly i missed good company is because of previous employer
Pam on October 26, 2017:
i was workin. At. Brothers resrtaut and his wife fired me bc someone said told her. I stole
Alfred Moon on October 25, 2017:
Can an employer give you a bad reference if they have not dismissed you? I know a friend who was supposed to go to a disciplinary meeting for gross misconduct but he resigned before that happened. He was on a temporary contract.
Frida on October 06, 2017:
Can I still proceed although I don't meet #4 of the list? I am currently working but am looking to work in my career field after taking a job to move counties? The potential employer alerted me that my former supervisors 'didn't have too many good things to say". The worst reference I know to be a personal issue with me, is a bully manager and nothing has been done about her.
Lina on September 10, 2017:
I hv submitted my resignation n my employer forcing me to work... without willingness... can I do something about this... he says he will harras me for reference with new employer
Lynn B on July 17, 2017:
If an ex manager makes loud negative remarks about you loudly so your new coworkers and yourself hear if it's based on some truth can he get by with this practice? It was my first day.
Scott F. on June 27, 2017:
If I am under worker's comp and awaiting surgery, but actively seeking other employment opportunities and I have one possible employer call to get a reference. Can the current employer share that there is a current worker's comp situation if they do not give specifics?
Terri J on May 12, 2017:
I have been looking for a job for almost two years. Yesterday finally one told me the reason she didn't hire me was because of something a place I used to work for told her. I worked for that woman for almost 8 years and she has even asked me to come back to work for her. But she is giving me the most horrible references you can imagine. None of which are true, but I worked for her under the table and she hardly ever paid me even when she did the checks would bounce so I was basically working for tips. Should I turn her in for defamation of character or should I just stop listing her as a place I worked for? It's hard though considering I worked there for so long.
Unknown on March 09, 2017:
How can I file
Vicki on February 10, 2017:
I was offered a job, start date, salary, benefits outline. Being excited, I posted on Facebook. The day before I was supposed to start my previous employer contacted the office. She made false accusations that resulted in the loss of this job. Do I have grounds for legal action?
Carl on January 25, 2017:
I need help! I just got terminated due to my performance, they say. People can vouch that I'm a hard working person. Not only that, the performance issue they were referring was so shallow and minor. Example: "Using bullet points in my reports"
I have reasons to believe that they took me out because a director in that office didn't like me associating with this other person who they also terminated few weeks back and they just looked for reasons to take me out too!
What next steps do I need to do??
Ashton C on January 13, 2017:
After i was let go from my previous job, my former supervisor reached out to my MOTHER and told her he thought I was on drugs.. which is far from the truth. I worked there over 3 years and I was a department manager. I had an outstanding record with the company up until my last 3 months there. The only reason i started having problems was because my dad took his life and I had a hard time coping, which resulted in many sleepless nights. I was depressed but The only issuse I had was getting to work on time. Matter of fact, after he told my mom he thought I was on drugs, he said I do a great job when I am there. I admit when I was still working there and first began having problems, my supervisor asked me if I was on drugs and i said no. I was taken back. I offered to take a drug test and he said it wasn't necessary. He actually told me a few days later that he only said that trying to motivate me. You have no idea how much pain and trouble this caused me. Everyone in my family started treating me different. I was distraught and became even more depressed. It even effected me financially as I was not able to work because of the depression. The worst part is that he never believed I was on drugs and he had no right to share anything with mother. Thankfully I've finally started to overcome it but my relationship with my family is still on the mend.
Do i have a case or Is there any I can do?
James on January 13, 2017:
I tried to get a new job was in the hiring stages when was told I couldn't get the job because my last job terminated me I was told they tried to get my ex employer to reverse the comment now I'm jobless I remember my ex employer last words we are like family I feel like I'm being bullied what can I do
Alyssa Harolds on January 11, 2017:
My daughter was an IT contractor at the company X. During the time my daughter was working for her female boss, she asked my daughter to hem her pants that my daughter did not charge. Also she asked my daughter to look for the ivory buyers for her brother in law (sales of ivory is illegal). She made many promises to my daughter and contacted my other God daughter. My other God daughter gave my daughter the $65 silk fabric and my daughter brought the fabric to her boss because her boss wanted to make a skirt. All of a sudden, she let my daughter go for no reason and my daughter did not collect the money yet. On the final day, it took 2 hours for my daughter to go home because she had to wait for bus and train. She did not have a laptop or access to internet on that day. No internet on bus and at the train station. Recently my daughter asked her 15-year former boss to email her female boss about getting back the fabric or money for the fabric. It came to know my daughter's female boss talked bad about my daughter. She accused my daughter of false allegation for deleting the code after she left. How would she delete the code after she left and during the time she was waiting for bus and train and coming home without having laptop or accessing to the internet? She blamed that my daughter was a manipulator. My question is whether my daughter should sue her? Does my daughter has a defamation case?
Wronged on December 26, 2016:
I was recently terminated from my job as a property manager. It was just 2 days before my 90 day mark.
I had reached out to my boss and training person 2 weeks prior asking for an accommodation due to a disability. They refused to have a conversation or offer help at all. I also worked over daily 2-4 hours and worked on Saturdays, but wasn't paid for it.
I was not a salaried employee.
My final paycheck was short 18 hours besides all the weeks I didn't get compensation for overtime worked.
Within 2 weeks of my requests I was terminated after missing 2 days of work because of my disability.
I am getting calls from tenants telling me that the former employer is telling lies about me to them.
I am also receiving calls about the new manager borrowing money from the tenants and not paying them back.
The apartments are low income and the tenants can't afford to give money to the manager.
What should I do?
guddu sharma on December 13, 2016:
I worked for a company in kolkata for around nine years and had to leave or resign due to pressure in one day notice period. Everything started when a lady joined a branch as assistant manager.Initially i had problem with her but later i did adjustment and tried going together.I was then team leader having a team of 8 members. However, after six months of joining we started having problems on different branch related issues, then she along with one more lady started complaining about my behaviour to head office.This would happen quite often and i would come out clean with clarification. Then i was promoted to assistant manager and then the real picture started, lady manager along with another lady staff started harassing me by complaning to hr on my behaviourial issue,however i realized this things were happening because i started objecting on unethical issues for example manager was aware of tempering of client signature by another lady staff. I litterally informed head office on this and then i was ensured that action will be taken against them. However, when time came i was told that i need to leave as other lady manger along with other staff feel that i have behaviourial issue.At the time of leavinf i was told by GM that wherever you go i can give CEO referance for Job.I was provided clear relieving and expwrience letter.But when i tried for job in new company, at the time verification my ex employwr gave negative feedback.
Can i sue against them.
Marv on December 01, 2016:
My x boss told my new employer that I am unfit for my job and I am unreliable is there anything I can do towards the slander against me?
Sarah R on November 07, 2016:
So on a different note my husband had quit his job as a correctional officer a few months back and just recently tried to get unemployment while out of work. Apparently the employer told the unemployment office they fired my husband and thus he cant get his checks. We really need the extra income right now because Im the only one working and we were hoping for those checks to help with bills. Now we are in a financial crisis because my husband cant receive the checks. Can we sue the previous employer?
Wiliam Hazadous on October 20, 2016:
a lot of people dont really believe because you have a record doesn't make you a bad person,and regardless something i did far back as college shouldn't hunt me for the rest of my life.but the system is wrong about this and this need to be said.in my case after my DUI case and after college,i noticed each time my employers did a background check i was been let-go,i became really depressed,i couldn't work at the place i deserve or desire because of something i did years ago,which doesn't define who i am today.till a friend from work who had a similar experience told me i could have my records disappear,sounded like magic right? well it wasn't. she introduced me to a group of elite who actually got my records clean by hacking into every place that shows up i ever had a record and each time any of my employers check my past records now,its clean,you can try out eliterealhack((AT))gmail((DOT))com today to have your records deleted .you can thank me later.they guarantee 100% money back.this really helped me
a lot and i think it can help someone here too.
Not Finding Job on September 09, 2016:
In 2011 I hurt my back while at work. I was working 32-35 hours per week. The workers comp doctor put me on light duty. One day after being put on light duty the company I was working for dropped my hours down to 17 per week. Feeling that was not fair. I contacted an attorney.
I was pushed out of company and settled for not enough money to cover my now life long medical needs or surgery to correct my back. I didn't want to settle with the company. Nor did want to go after workers comp since they were actually helping.
I had sign papers that I could never work for that company again or any of its sister companies.
A few months later I applied for a management position. It was down to myself and an potential hire. The DM who interview me said to me, She is pretty sure she has picked her manager and asked if I could start the following Monday. Also she needed to check my references and would get back with me.
A few days later did not hear from her. Sent her email asked if she decided. She said she chose the other person.
I do believe when she contacted my previous employer they painted me in a not so good way. I am 100% sure they told her I sued them.
Is there anything I can do all these years later with no luck of finding job. All I hear is no..
Barbara on September 02, 2016:
I recently left a job that I was at for 7 years, it was a sales job where I made Presidents Club twice and had the highest total sales the last 4 years. I left this company because I had been cheated out of commission money many many times, and when asked why they always came up with BS excuses. At my meeting with the big boss that I had to give him my 2 week notice, he said I didn't need to give the 2 weeks, he said he understood that I have a family and I needed to go where I could make better money. After the meeting, we shook hands and the big boss said he would give me a good reference and all he asked was that I did not say anything bad about the company. I have kept up my end of the bargin, I have not said a word, I started my new job and love it, my issue is that the old boss has called my new boss twice already telling him that he should get rid of me, that I am unmanageable and that I'm talking crap about his company. Can he do this? Can I sue him for defamation of character?
david on September 01, 2016:
Hello I have a question my former employee told my recent employer that is untruthfull things about me but I get the job and I worked in the job nearly 2 monthe after I heared people talking about me things that is not true about me that is about my sexuality and I left my former job becouse of that I am not but some one try to nakr negative reputation about me so I left the job and now I changed city and no one knows me in tge new city and tge new job but the bad reputation about me I heared people talking abd the only source of that is the former employer so please what can I do help me I want to sue the former employer for defamation ?
Jess on August 29, 2016:
My husbands ex-boss is calling his new job with lie and demanding that they fire him or he will go on social media and give his business a bunch of bad ranks. Is this something that he can do? I just don't see how you can call your ex-employees new place of employment and make up lies and try to get them fired. We don't want to cause trouble but the harassment is getting to be to much.
Priscilla on August 28, 2016:
I had a bad feeling about a former employer- one of the women responsible for subs. So, my friend emailed her pretending to be a hiring manger. The woman thats responsible for putting in a good word for subs, actually LIED about me in four sentences. I emailed her and confronted her about it and she did not reply. I even emailed the President of the school district and no reply. Even personnel.
I didn't care that the lady didn't want to put in a good word, but I did care about the lies she lodged against me. That's defamation and discrimination. I so want her ass fired from the job she holds right now.
thomas on August 24, 2016:
after one year employed at a company i was arrested i could not continue my obligations to said employer . Not out of jail i am trying to get another job . my ex employer when asked would he re hire me says " No i would highly suggest that you do not hire him . what can I do this is preventing me from being hired
Frustrated Girl on August 10, 2016:
I received noticed from the hiring resource department, the tentative position was recanted due to a reference. The HR representative would not elaborate but stated I would receive a letter in the mail addressing the matter. What recourse if any can I do? I have been with the company for over 30 years and over that time leadership has documented bullying, horizontal violence, and false allegations of sexual misconduct that was proven false. I truly believe leadership is attempting to find anything to terminate or push me out of my position. At this point and time, I am at my wits end because of what I had to deal with over the years. Can you please provide assistance and or guidance?
john sudds on July 28, 2016:
did not see anything when the bullying is the CEO of company, and deletes meeting documentation, or manipulates it to reflect his favor. or that other employees can not speak up because shortly after, "whoops, cut backs". or that you can prove manipulation of documentation because you secretly recorded the meeting, and the documentation of his, that he wants you to sign, is 98% inaccurate. However. you can not seek legal representation because attorneys will not even listen to it without tons of money. Or that others who have contacted EEOC, the EEOC was stopped at the door and not allowed to enter building because it is privately owned. if entrance was granted, no employee was allowed to talk with them alone, and of course if employee did go ahead and talk, no job shortly after. Would like to see some comments on this.
sam on July 20, 2016:
I haven't seen any responses from the under cover lawyer on any posts covering the past 5 years. Is this site still monitored or is everyone just posting their experiences?
asd on June 24, 2016:
GFK Company dose that. They give bad reference in country s where the low dose not protect employer ( like Romania) They are full of lies and think that this will keep employees in place and discourage any one to live.
Hardworker on June 21, 2016:
Hello I worked for a company for almost 3 years and almost 2 years in I became ill and had to have surgery. I was unable to go back to work and was under doctors care. After about 3 years I went back to apply as a rehire at the same company and I was told that my personnel file stated that I only worked a certain amount of months physically and I was terminated because of attendance. None of that is true. I have been applying for jobs everywhere and I have a degree and no one has hired me and I am wondering if it is because of that company giving bad remarks about the information they have in my file which is not correct. I worked at this company for almost 3 years. I was a hard worker. I have not been able to find a job and when I apply to jobs I would get an email back stating they have decided to pursue other candidates. I got an email from HR of this company when I applied for a rehire stating that they could not hire me back. I responded and asked them could they provide me with a specific reason to why I was not a rehire and they stated they couldn't disclose that information because the committee board do not disclose the reason. Please tell me if I have a case or not because I know I did not get terminated and I worked more than 9 months physically. The info in my file is incorrect and I know that I have people who can vouch for my length of employment at the company.
Savannah on June 20, 2016:
My name is on my last company's business account and I left there 21/2 months ago. A month I left, I found that they are still using my personal information to maintain their bank in the US. I asked them to remove it and its still ongoing. I told them that I will remove my name and close out the account.
To make the situation my complicated, they overpaid me on my last payroll and they wanted a refund.
shej on June 02, 2016:
A former employer (A) has just sold his business to company (B). I terminated my employment with A, against the wishes of A. A's business has declined since I left, and he places blame on me for leaving. When I applied at B, I was told that A had stipulated in the seller's contract that I could not be hired by B for X number of years. Is this legally possible? Since I was never fired, can employer A require that company B NOT hire me, and make that legally binding in their seller/buyer contract? What can I do?
Fatima on April 23, 2016:
My boss admitted to me that he was purposefully blacklisting me from advancing in my career; saying "You think I am going to allow you to advance or progress inside or outside of this company, no. I will make sure of it!"
Although I have no proof other than this conversation, I have applied to over 25 jobs and no response back; two interviews and was denied the job after reference checks were completed. How can I figure out if this occuring because of the threat made to me?
I have a masters degree and am employed in a position that only requires a HS diploma or GED. If this is true, and he is giving bad references defaming my character and work ethic, which proof is found and obtained, can I sue for loss of potential wages?
MarieSavini on October 20, 2015:
How do I contact you or talk about hiring you?
Kammi on August 18, 2015:
Hi there, I have a question.
I have(had) two jobs but I was recently fired from one of them. We'll say the job that I was fired from is called "L" and the one I'm currently at is called "J"
So, here's my story. "L" fired me because of something I did that was apparently "non tolerable" Okay, fine. But the day that I was handed the termination paper. I didn't sign it and asked for proof of action on video. They didn't comply to my request but they still claim that they have it on camera. "L" had called "J" today (8/18/15) at 10.15am and asked to speak to a hiring manager. Mind you, I've been with "J" for 5 years and only with "L" for 2. So they talk to a manager negatively about me as being "informative."
Now, here's my question, is that legal to say things about me even though I'm already working there?
Shocked and Praying on April 15, 2015:
Dear Undercover Lawyer,
I was working for this non-profit company from 2009-2011, during that time I began having health problems because of my work hr's . my doctor had been writing to the HR managers to have my schedule changed for better health management. Long story short it took them 5 months to change my hours. Unfortunately I ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks following being changed to new shift. As my doctor put it My health could wait and the company HR waiting to change it contributed to my health decline. I was under FMLA up until the day I was admitted in to the hospital. Well upon leaving which is another odd deal I was given a letter from HR stating I was eligible for rehire when the time arose and I was cleared medically. I recently applied for a position in a different department and the Talent Recruiter for the company stated they have me as Not Eligible for Rehire. Can I sue the company for the passive-aggressive HR manager who decided to check that box anyway.
robin on February 06, 2015:
I work in the nursing field was at my job for over 5 yrs this time plus 5 yrs the 1st time I worked there..about 3 wks ago I quit..i have applied for numerous jobs just recently I found out that my old administrator told a reference check that they would not hire me back due to my attitude and that I had many med errors.. this has angered me..can anyone tell me what I need to do..someone said to call the better business beraue any suggestions on this matter
Robert Dmitriev on January 11, 2015:
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megan clark on January 06, 2015:
What if you were fired based off of peoe sending emails to your boss saying you said things that you know you didnt but your boss ran with after you went to HR with a problem your boss was ignoring? I am a nurse and i was yelled at and kicked out of the nurses station by a lead in front of patients amd other staff members.... When i went back into the nurses station the lead began to yell at me again so i called the nurse supervisor.... This incident was following another and during the lead pretty much said it was in retaliation. The supervisor never got back to me so i went to the manager who,never got back to me so i went to HR. Then the supervisor and manager got back to me. Not more than a couple weeks later i was put on probation for the exact reason that the lead was yelling at me for. Not too long following i was gettung written up every time i turned around to the point where i was so anxious and stressed about work that it started showing in my work. Next thing i know i am getting fired for supposedly saying i could hack into the time clock even though i know it was a lie because i am not technologically inclined. I suck with computers. But now i am worried that they are going to continue to slander my name
COK on November 07, 2014:
Recently, I applied for a position at one UK company. After getting the negative note, I have sent a written request asking for the copy of my application and all the notes that went with it. The hiring manager have just sent me the application (CV, cover letter and accompanying). He confirmed in a phone discussion that my application was turned down due to some negative comments provided by referees and shared these comments with me. Provided that the comments are absolutely irrelevant, is there any legal base to further insist on receiving the note details.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Dee on September 08, 2014:
Can I sue a former employer if they called my current employer and "advised" them to watch out for me 5 years after working for them by trying to harm my reputation?
Chris B. on September 08, 2014:
I received an interesting negative letter of recommendation recently for a potential employee I am considering hiring. The point in the letter in question stated, "I personally feel ____ does not belong in ____. He has a rather odd personality..." Is it legal to describe a individual as odd, or is that considered defamation?
david m on August 14, 2014:
Hi, i was about to join the police in 2 weeks but when they gave my employer a call about a reference he gave me a terrible reference according to the sergeant. The police have now postponed my appointment until they investigate more. I have worked at the firm for 6 years and have never had a written warning about any of the points in my bad reference. Is there anything i can do against my former employer
Wayne Rutter on August 08, 2014:
I would like to add to the first comment ! In relation to the suspicion you have against your past employer whom you think is providing your prosoective employers a reference which refers to the defermation of your character
You should be aware the allegation can be very hard to prove for instance if your past employer is stipulting ( They would not re-employ you ) this is NOT defermation
This is more related to loss off opporunity
This happened to me for 2 years I was dismissed from my job after 2.5 years in the care sector
I was damn good at my job but because I didnt see eye to eye with my employers new director the first oppotunity he had was swung at me based on hearsay supported by a staff member trying to get up the ladder who was having a fling with him
Despite this I took them both on to clear my name of such sick allegations after leaving the company they both continued with thier campaign to harrassment my future employment however after two years the time had come from a cropper I had waited to bounce on with joy !
The employer decided to write a reference to a potensial employer who kindly gave me a copy !
That was the end of his career
I took my case to the civil courts who awarded me £12.500 in damages yhe director was sacked and placed on the barred list for mental abuse he had actually pulled ever straw he could because I stood up to him he thought he was god like some bosses do , but hrd picked on tje wrong guy
In his reference he stated he would not re-employ me but the fact was the future employer never asked him such a question
If he had swallowed his pride and admitted that niether liked each other it would have been his problem but he made it mine so I ended his career as director in care
Served him right id done nothing wrong
To round things up you can apply for the information from your potential employer but remember a reference has to be factual but outside these guidelines it can be derogetory in any manner whether descriminative or otherwise
The best the employer could do to protect himself would be to provide a skeleton reference for you which would state your role, your time with the company and your salary
These are factual and lawfull
The risk of a lawsuit like mine was what my employer deserved
But, some employers people have problems with should provide nothing more that a skeleton reference if he wants to keep his job and respect himself as a professional employer despite personal differences like my situation
The information you recieve will highlight what claim you may be able bring against your employer and to be honest not many cases like this proceed to a hearing
However good luck to you and others alike and stand your ground do something about it dont let the employer walk all over your rights
subforfood on June 25, 2014:
An old employer refused to write a proof of employment letter for me so that I give to a new employer. I am hired already but I need the letter so I can go up a few steps in my salary. When I directly asked him he said that I need a power of attorney to obtain one from him. What should I do???? I need help :(
Jane Doe on June 19, 2014:
I was recently terminated from my job as an RN for failing a drug screen. I have recently been informed that my supervisor that I worked under is communicating these facts to my former coworkers in the workplace. This has led to many unfair and unfriendly comments being made within the workplace about me. Isn't there something I can do about this verbal abuse and my private info being discussed by my former employer? I was never disciplined or investigated for any wrong doing prior to this incident.
Laurie M. on May 09, 2014:
I quit my job and walked out (never have I done this before) 1 day before my 1 year probation period was up and I was to be covered under my Union contract, after they tried to extend my probation period for 3 months for no reason. They claimed my "co-workers" were complaining about me because I was too happy and polite, too helpful and used too big of words. I had been struggling for almost the entire year there trying to get along with a couple of the women, one being the niece of the supervisor the other being the woman I was hired with that just didn't like me because I apparently was learning the job faster than her. I don't know really! I am a friendly person, great personality, lots of friends. Now here I am a year later and I am afraid applying for jobs that this supervisor is going to give me a bad reference simply because she doesn't like me. Yes I know I quit without notice, had small coworker conflict but no job performance trouble, always on-time, always showed up, no problems otherwise, great employee. Very frustrating because I am a college graduate looking to apply for high level career jobs and I would hate to not get them based solely on her reference and bad attitude and worse not be able to find out and do something about it!
John Doe on March 07, 2014:
Can you sue a future employer who has conducted a background check stating you have a felony but you have proof from the courts saying it a misdemeanor? As this company is using a false charge not to hire you.
wifeofemployed on February 21, 2014:
I have a tricky situation where I need some advice. My family and I lived at a long-term rental resort type place. it was $1050 a month for 2 bedroom but included utilities except electric. We lived there one year. during the time we lived there we'd frequent the onsite restaurant/bar that was poolside. At one point I even worked for the owner as a bartender and waitress. After our lease was up, we moved.. and eventually moved back ..this time into a 3 bedroom. We'd still go to the restaurant/bar because every thurs evening they would have karaoke. On jan 11th, 2012, we went to karaoke and within 5 mins of arrive, I had suffered a terrible slip and fall (slipping on something that was not supposed to be on the floor). thinking at the time that I only must have just sprained my foot and that I'd be alright, come to find out that I broke my foot in a couple of places, the largest bone in the foot.. the calcaneus bone.. requiring surgery which ultimately resulted in screws being put into my foot.. wow.. some serious injury here.. and wait wait wait.. no insurance whatsoever.. hmm well I fell on the property of the restaurant/bar and by all rights they pay for a premises liability.. maybe they will be able to submit my medical expenses to their insurance company. That would be the true and correct and admiral thing to do right? given that we were told we were like 'family', given that I had previously worked there, and given that we were good paying customers every week. Well, it didnt work out like that. In fact, right after my injury, we learned that we (my family and myself) were completely banned from the premises.
Okay I had to previs you with the background.
About 3 weeks ago, my husband applied for a job at the liquor store... they had a sign up .. help wanted. Upon repeated follow up about the job, he was told that there were about 15 applicants which is why it was taking so long but that the guy would put a good recommendation in .. then another week and a half goes by, we get a call that we need to resubmit his resume to the main manager. We do that.. another week goes by and my husband is called in to do paperwork and told he can start tomorrow.. however, he would be starting at the 'sister' store.. which happens to be the store near the resort where we resided. Which also happens to do a great deal of business with the restaurant bar owner on which I had a medical claim. My husband shows up for work, and is being trained by the guy who had him come and do the paperwork near where we live.. so he's there, taking inventory, doing windows, waiting on customers, doing the cash register and getting a general feel for the job and grateful to have it. Later in the afternoon, the main manger comes in.. the guy training my husband goes to introduce him to the manager .. the manager says.. oh I know you. and soon the air was very chilly. the main manager goes outside.. makes a call.. soon the guy training my husband gets a call on his cell phone for which he had been getting calls all day and taking them while inside the store.. but this particular call he must have been instructed to go outside to "discuss" my husband. Not long afterwards, comes back inside and tells my husband he hates to be the bearer of bad news but they do not have a position for him.
Husband asks why ? and the guy says, I dont know, sometimes they over hire.
that is not the truth here.. they are opening up 6 stores and he was chosen out of 15 applicants for the position.
The liquor store where he was to work his first day .. has ties with the restaurant in that the restaurant owner purchases liquor from the store for his restaurant.
Wondering if there is a type of discrimination being applied here.
Do you feel we are being discriminated against for employment because of a previous lawsuit ?
uniquetanner on February 02, 2014:
I sued my former employer with workers compensation, and had to resign as part of the settlement. I have been out of work for almost 3 years. Last year I started looking for work.
I have had 2 job offers, one I actually went to orientation, and they both fell through. I think my former employer is saying bad things about me and preventing me from getting another job. what can I do? I signed papers stating I could not sue my former employer again, or is this different?
anonymous on January 11, 2014:
I have a question. Orientation period is 3 mos. I gave resignation after 2 weeks stating the job was not a good fit, come to find out two yrs later the manager at the time places "job abandonment" & company states no rehire. I try on several attempts to resolve this matter. Company states "edit job abandoment, still no rehire". Do I have a case ? Thank you.
Ellen on January 08, 2014:
Please help! I quit my job voluntarily nearly a year ago. I gave a months notice and they let me fulfill the month, which is/was unusual for said employer. I left b/c my boss would not promote me after 5 years and the person hired to assist me became a liar and stole my ideas as well as making false accusations about me. I was constantly having to defend myself against the assistants accusations and did prove them false, as well as having to always come back and tell my boss(es) that the assistant stole my ideas. They chose to believe her nearly all of the time and all the time I was able to prove othersie. Additionally as previously mentioned, ny boss was a chest thumper and did not want my department to have a director, even as he was only there p/t as a VP and everything implemented was done by me. He also said I had to have a degree, but there were several directors that had no degree. After trying to discuss this with my boss(es) for two years, I eventually told them I quit. I believe (but don't know for sure or if it even makes a difference) that my assistant (who they told me they liked b/c she made them laugh...seriously) is probably up to the same antics as when I was there, only now I am not in a position to defend myself, now should I have to, since they loved my during my 6 years of employment. As I said I gave and carried out a months notice. All of my annual reviews were very good. I have excellent references on Liked In from Director, to managers to co-workers. I have now been unemployed for nearly a year and I STRONGLY suspect my prior boss or prior assistant is keeping me from gainful employment by giving me a bad reference. I also believe they are smart enough to know and to ask the prospective employer to keep hush about their bad reference. I have never been unemployed for more than a few months and I have always quit, never been fired. I do not think prospective employer will tell me I received a bad reference if they have given there word not to. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
kelly on December 19, 2013:
I believe that a former employer is slandering my name to potential employers. The background investigator has stated that my former employer said I had issues of what time to come to work and what time to leave work, but my performance evaluation states that I "meet the expectations of the companies policy when recording my time on my timesheet."
Robert on November 11, 2013:
I believe in the first amendment and the truth is an absolute defense against anything an employer might say. For this, if the employer wishes to convey truth about an employee who was not great, he or she should stick to objective truths. Of course when they started, what their starting salary was, what their ending salary was and what their ending date was are all objective. Other things that are objective would include - but aren't limited to - "The employee was involuntarily terminated" (if the employee was indeed fired), "The employee was terminated for alleged theft" (not saying that they stole but that they were fired for allegedly stealing; if they didn't steal and they were fired for stealing then it might be a "wrongful termination" situation), "The employee was terminated for violation of our office's absenteeism policy" (this is tricky; you can't say, "They missed work too much" because "too much" is subjective; if your office has a policy, then you're referencing it and all you would need to prove is how many days they missed and how it was objectively more than allowed).
For me, when I have a bad employee use me for a reference, I always ensure to ask if the conversation is recorded. By law, if the conversation is recorded, the other company (company B in your scenario) has to be truthful otherwise that couldn't be used as evidence in any case against you civilly or criminally. If the conversation is not recorded, nothing you say can be used against you as it is all here-say if it cannot be proven. What is to say employer A couldn't just say, "I never said that"?
My thing is that if an employee is a bad employee (steals, misses too much, bullies other employees, is lazy or otherwise is bad), then you should be able to answer TRUTHS about the employee. In my office, I am always comfortable saying, "The employee started on x/y/z and started at $xx.xx/hr; the employee left on x/y/z and ended at $xx.xx/hr; we would not agree to rehiring the employee if they were to seek employment at our company in the future". Those are all truths. They are verifiable. And though it's simple - it tells a future employee what they'd need to know.
FURTHER TO NOTE: If a terrible employee is looking for a job, it might help lower your unemployment burden if your ex-employee finds new employment.
milt on October 16, 2013:
i have a question my former employer was called for a work ref, and what i was told by my new boss or questioned about was he was told that while i worked for the past employer that i did a tow job for free and when asked a few days later the money showed up. also when i was working for them me and my wife separated for about 3 weeks and and since i was working 24/7 for a tow company the main boss was ok with me staying in the shop for that time. but my new boss was told that also. is there anything that i can do about that since i have applied for 2 other jobs and when they called to get a work ref i never got hired.??
celly campbell on October 09, 2013:
my previous employer is texting me threatening he will take the labour board dispute papers to my new employee, so I will loose my new job, what can I do.
Debbie on August 19, 2013:
I settled a workcomp with a county position for pennies and signed documents for no reinstatement rights, however I was misled and am told I can not apply for any county job now. I was bamboozled. Do I have any rights to right this wrong done to me?
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 24, 2013:
Isn't proving defamation very difficult? What if the ex-employer denies giving out false information and then the prospective employer denies it as well out of fear for legal issues. It is then basically a my word against their word situation and we all know who loses out in that case. Great hub!
mike on July 18, 2013:
I drive a truck and found another job with a different company. They went through a preliminary background check and scheduled me for orientation. So once they had me confirmed for orientation I gave my notice at my (now another former) employer. At the VERY LAST MINUTE, the Friday afternoon before I was to board a plan to go to orientation, they cancelled it because of what a former employer put on my DAC report at HireRight. Upon viewing my DAC report, they listed 7 accidents in the 1 1/2 years I worked for them. 5 of the 7 accidents entrie are incomplete. Either they have an unknown city and state or accident details just say "Misc". I was working for a Temp Agency for commercial drivers and after the 2nd day of work they let me go because of what this former employer said about me. Now prospective employers see the 7 accidents and wont hire me. I have recently disputed the incomplete information with HireRight. Am I able to sue my former employer for incomplete information listed on my DAC report that is preventing me from getting a job for the last 3 weeks?
louise on July 18, 2013:
i have been unemployed for a yr now had 10 interviews and not 1 has offered me the postion , im getting upset about this as i cant provide for my family like i used to i left my job because they spoke down to me and was always one rule for one and one rule for another , i was taking into hospital badly from an invection when i phoned in my boss said whatever and hung up i was always in work coveruing shifts only to find out she has been giving bad refrences about me this is not fair please help ... i just want a job any job but the ex boss is ruining everything for me and my family .
Trisha on June 29, 2013:
I started a job in which I am one female in the work place with 15 males, "I'm not against men" I am the mother of two son's and I love my husband of 24 years. When I first started the cussing was so bad that I asked them to watch what they say around me, that didn't go over too well, "I sence resentment by several fellow employes." Some of them have been telling on me saying that I am unsafe at work and other little things tthat are adding up really fast. I have been called into the supervisers office and told that I better improve or I am going to be let go. I work really hard, i show up to work on time and I have safety on my mind at all times they are making things up. I am now stressed out at work because of this. If I am laided off, that equals bad reference, then it will be really hard to find a job and what I do at work is a skill that I have to make my living, I don't have many more that would pay as well as this skill. I don't have a college education so I am at a loss. I don't know what to do. Help. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Trisha
Mary on April 04, 2013:
I need some advice. I have been applying for jobs within my own neighborhood school district since about 10/12. I have applied for several, but have not gotten any interviews. I keep checking back and reapplying as I see postings go up, but still no interviews. Lately, the person in charge of filling substitute positions (non-certified staff) will not even talk to me - and I get passed off the the Exec. Dir. of HR. I know I am very qualifed for these positions (especially the sub pool), but the information that I have been given as feedback doesn't really tell me much of anything. Most recently, I emailed the person in charge of filling the sub pool via email - and she did not respond to me at all (found out she is still there, but in a different function in HR). I then phoned the new contact (a friend filled me in), and I was quickly passed off to the Exec. Dir. of HR. I have been persistant and assertive in my applications and follow-up (but respectful), but I am getting the distinct impression I am not liked. The answers I receive when I do look for feedback as to why I haven't been added have been random: need to maintain ratios of certified staff vs. certified, some seemed to have more office experience or recent experience in a school setting, etc. My latest explaination was that they have a large pool of candidates and can afford to be selective. I am the mother of a special needs child with Downs/Autism and have had 12 years experience caring for her. To make a long story short, I have always been encouraged by these contacts to watch for posting and that I'm welcome to apply - which I have over and over. Still, no interviews at all. I was even encouraged by the Dir. of HR to get some experience outside the district - then they could call them to see what type of employee I was. I did recently work 1 day in another district to give it a try. Over the past week, I inquired yet again as to the need for additional staffing this Spring. I was told that they would not be adding me to the pool. Here is the latest feedback from the Dir. HR (word for word):
As stated in my earlier e-mail I went back and spoke to Ms. --- to remind me of your particular situation. In this case when we received your initial application (10/2011) and she was conducting our screening reference calls we received feedback that did not align with the skills and qualities we were looking for in our position. This is what I referenced in my last e-mail. Based on these references you would not be eligible for employment in the --------- Area School District. In the Fall Ms. --- was trying to "be nice" and explain that other candidates had skills that were more closely aligned with what we were looking for.
Now, this is the first I have been told that I am not eligible for any job within my own school district. I'm not sure what happened. I went from being "free to apply" to "not eligible for anything". The Dir. of HR also appologized for the lack of communication. My dillema is that I don't know if a former employer IS, in fact, giving me a bad reference. I called all 3 that I had listed on my app. today, and it seems like they are only answering very standard questions (beg. date/end date, title, salary) - and inquiries are being directed to HR or they are using another party to give out information (again, very basic info.). I also called the 3 other personal references who I listed who work for the same school district (mainly teachers) to verify if they have been contacted and to verify again that they would give me a good reference. All of them said no contact was made, and, of course, they would give a good reference. I guess I'm not convinced that the Dir. HR and the sub pool staffing person are being honest with me - or that what they are doing is on the up-and-up. My husband is an attourney, but his specialty is not in this area. He checked with a co-worker/attourney today who does know more about that area. His opinion is that someone with the school dis. probably does not like me and is handing me a bunch of crap. What should I do now? The email that I shared was from yesterday.
Marie on March 18, 2013:
My employer is trying to fire me. By giving me 4-9pm shifts knowing that I can not work passed 5 pm due to the fact I care for my 75 yr old mother who has Alzheimer's and get dropped off at home from the daycare center. When hired they knew about this. What atelier rights as an employee!
Roxanne. on January 17, 2013:
my manager fired me because my ex co-worker and his friend said i was harassing me i told them i wasnt and they said what are they both lying? hes closer to me and is always talking down about me to other co-workers and my managers i felt very harassed and there has been many problems with this specific general manager im trying to fight my case but nothing seems to be working they tried getting me fired for making all these complaint they never looked into these. i also never recieved an team member handbook to know if i was being dooped till it was too late....and now im left without a job and unemployment hasnt approved or denied me im so troubled and i feel i have been litterally stabbed in the back sorry for the mumbo jumbo but from what you read here, i was wondering if i had a case
JOHANNA on December 21, 2012:
I was promoted from being a receptionist to an administrator and on probation for 3monthd and that 3months has passed its now 1,5 months now and still havent heard anything from my superiors in regard with the probation
the hr once came to me and told me that she dd send my supervisor an email regarding that and after that they never looked me in the eye the HR is now on leave and im still in the dark. what should i do because it seems lilke they are just waiting fro me to make a mistake or that they are looking for someone to fill this position. please help
MC on November 11, 2012:
Started workin in a doctors office. 6 weeks later received a better opportunity in a diff job and also my wife who has not been working for the last 4 years. In my contract it says that any party could terminate the contract without any cause upon given 60 days notice. He told me to leave before the 60 days notice.
I gave the notice but obviously my boss was not happy that I was leaving and he even ask me to pay him back the 6 weeks that he payd me. And ask me to leave before the 860 dasy.
Am I in trouble? Can I or should I do somethng about this?
Lisa on August 20, 2012:
My husband just got fired, they told him they were moving in a different direction however, they gave him a legal form to sign stating he would not sue them. He would have to sign the form in order to receive a severance package. He called 2 previous employees who had also been let go for the same reason and they did not have to sign anything, just received the check.
Do you think they are covering something up? I think it is his age (63) and he has been sick this year as well. The most important thing however is that he is in sales, and every bid he brought to them, they outprice themselves so he wouldn't make his bonus/commission. I think they were wanting him to leave but didn't, so they came up with this legal document to scare him into accepting the severance package instead of suing them.
Should he just sign the document and move on or is there a possibility he has a case against them.
Liza on August 03, 2012:
I am unemployed now and have tried contacting my previous employer to ask if they have any positions there. I am getting the silent treatment. How can I find out why?
Joel on July 10, 2012:
I applied for a correction officer postion for the state of Maryland a few months ago,gave them my resume,took my background and finger printing.everything was going well.they were calling my refference and got to my current job after asking them my dates of hire I received a letter saying I was denied the postion.now I have no bad background not a felons,so after doing some research I found that my current employer gave my wrong dates of hire .see I work for this company before and quite for another job until 2004 then return and been there sence then.so I'm putting all my my job history on my resume,application and all and it's not checking out and I found out why today.i spoke to the hr lady today and she informs me the the only record they have of me working there is 2004 till present on there computer then she looks in my file and there it is every day,week,month and year I work there.so as I'm putting all the time I work there on my resume and apps,my current employer is basically saying I'm wrong causing me to loss any chance of probably working a state job ever.does anyone no what steps I can take to possibly suie this company for giving false information??? Thanks
minni on June 09, 2012:
Hi ! i'm mentally tortured by my manager/area manager. iwas with the company almost 4 yrs, a good worker. new manager came & everything upside down, I trained the manager & went on maternity leave, came back & found things are different, CM never communicate with me, only RN on the flood 4 days a week, responsible for stuff after CM. when I Questioned CM/area manager false blamed me as rude & defensive. & gave me bad annual reviews & very low raise & almost insulted. CM talked about me to other employees that im not not supportive that is absolutely lie, CM is proudy & I never saw her on the floor to check on whats going on, sometimes I did not know thatshe is in the clinic, e.g. If we said that this scheduke is very tight difficult to handle for PCTs CM "I have to do it, figure it out" I took that on heart & depressed, it disturbed my sleep. I quit my job after 2 weeks notice. Im pretty sure she made every note what happened even it is lie/false. Im still under depression, I love my job/patients & dedicated to my work. pt. cried when I left & requested to stay there. I got new job but less salary, so financial loss too. so my question is can I sue my bosses??
Dan on May 31, 2012:
I was working for a automotive company for a few years, never had any problems,worked my way up to Mgr. Helped Loss Prevention with few internal cases.One day a shoplifter came into the store( we have a few every day)and I ask him to leave the merchandise and leave He was considerably bigger and came up to me, the I show him my box cutter that was in my hand right next to my body and askim to leave the merchandise that I was not going to call the police. He left the store but another employee that was under investigation at the time for under ringing called HR on me and LP tricked me into signing a estatement about what happend and I was let go. I can not get any jobs no matter what they are or how low they pay. Someone close to me confirmed to me that that employer is giving me a bad reference saying that I am violent. With a family and bills to pay, how can I possibly fight this to clear my record or change somehow what they are saying. I will greatly appreciate your help! Thank You!!!
Floridian2012 on May 31, 2012:
After 8 years of working for Bank of America, I was targeted by management and then terminated after informing management, superiors and HR about code of ethics violation committed by another associate. It started in February 2012 when I was just 4 days away from getting a promotion and the manager wrote me up and kept me from the promotion. I had never been written up in all of my career at the bank. It continued until May when I was terminated and when I asked why and for proof, they said that they did not need to give me any at all. My concern is, I am applying for other banks and different companies. Can they keep me from getting a job elsewhere? Thank you so much and I look forward to your feedback
Prashanth K on May 27, 2012:
Yes I had a similar experience now I am working as a security guard
Skeeyer00 on May 25, 2012:
15 years ago I was terminated from company A for a minor misjudgment, and mistake on my part. Company A a huge company with multiple business units. I currently work for company B which company A just bought. The business unit is completely different than the unit I was in when terminated from company A 15 years ago. Nonetheless, this previous company has bought my current company. It's not like I was searching for my previous employer, it's purely coincidence. I'm so stresses out now as if the deal goes through, I feel like I'm going to get fired again as soon as they process my SSN#. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Am I "toast" or will I be ok?
John on May 21, 2012:
I quit a job recently because i was suffering from Anxiety I phoned the job next morning to tell them I wont be back, I was told over the phone "Thats ok because we were going to sack you anyway" I have tried to put in a new claim in social welfare for Jobseekers benefit, I recieved a call from a social worker telling me that i will have to wait upto 10 weeks because my employer told them i was sacked for gross misconduct. can u help me or give me some advice please thank you
siki89 on May 14, 2012:
I was working for a dr two years ago that treating us like his slaves and we would really nvr get any breaks until one day u just had enough of his abbuse and i decided to leave .now ive been unemployed for over a year and i have not been able to get a job another girl that worked for him is having the same problem and we susspect it was him giving bad reference one day i had my friend call the manager asking about me and she said nothing but negative things about it and the phone call was recorded.they tell me to take it to court but i wanna know if i cant and would i get in trouble for using a name if a dr here in town without their consent?
kaao2 on May 11, 2012:
hi i need advice , if i am a company driver and i hit a fence and damage it and i reported to my company and later i quit and a month after i quit the exemployer now wants me to pay for the damage to the fence can he sue me for the damages
jay on May 04, 2012:
we had changed our company names and owners 3 times in the past 20 years, can an employee who's been working from the first owner and company to the third company and owner for hour dispute in the past 20 years? How far back in years can an employee sue a company for hour dispute? thanks