If a company I interviewed for contacts my current employer after I marked down no, is there any sort of legal action I could pursue?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a company I interviewed for contacts my current employer after I marked down no, is there any sort of legal action I could pursue?

I did a few rounds of interviews for a company and
they wanted to hire me. My plan was to give my two
weeks once I received the formal offer. The future
company wanted to do a reference/employment
check. On the form, for my current job where its
asked May we contact your current employer? I had
marked down No. However, much to my horror, I
learned from my supervisor a few days later that this
company had indeed reached out and spilled the

Asked on April 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is not. While it was unprofessional of them to have ignored your preference, 1) the form you checked was not an actual contact and did not give you enforceable rights; 2) there generally is no liability for someone disclosing known truthful information--such as that you contacted them for a job--in the absence of an enforceable confidentiality agreement; and 3) the risk of word of your job search getting back to your employer is a known and common risk of looking for a job, and generally, there is little or no liability when the ordinary and accepted risks of something come to pass.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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