What can be done about a previous employor who is using language that would prevent a prospective employer from hiring me?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can be done about a previous employor who is using language that would prevent a prospective employer from hiring me?

Asked on January 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only thing a former employer can't do is defame you. Defamation is the public making--and for this purpose, "public" includes to any third parties, like prospective employers--of untrue factual statements about you which damage your reputation and/or make others not want to work with you.

Opinions are not defamation, so it is not illegal for a former employer to say anything like, "I think John/Jane Doe is lazy" or "rude" or "has a bad attitude" or is "sloppy," etc., since those are opinions.

Also true facts are not defamation; so, for example, if you were in fact excessively absent, the former employer could say that.

But if the former employer is stating untrue facts about you--for example, accusing you of theft, drug use, or excessive absenteeism, when that was not true--then that may be defamation. If it is, you could sue for both monetary compensation and for a court order directing the former employer to stop doing that.


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 with SHA-256 Encryption