If myprevious employercalled my new job and told them to watch me, is that illegal?

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If myprevious employercalled my new job and told them to watch me, is that illegal?

The boss at my last job told my new boss to check behind everything I do.

Asked on January 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the previous employer made an untrue factual statement about  you which damages your reputation, that could be defamation and you might have a cause of action or legal claim. So, for example, if he/she said "you have to watch John/Jane Doe; he/she stole from the company," and you never did steal, that would likely be defamation.

But if the former boss either--

1) Related a true fact--for example, said that you had made certain errors or mistakes, which you in fact did; and/or

2) Expressed an opinion, like "I think he/she is lazy and sloppy"

--then that is not defamation; neither true facts nor opinions are defamatory, even if they are negative.

If it's not defamation, then it is legal--there is no law stopping a former employer from contacting a new employer or passing on thoughts about an employee.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption