What can your previous employer tell the employess as to why your were let go?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2016

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What can your previous employer tell the employess as to why your were let go?

Also, what can your previous employer tell potential employers about you

during a reference check?

Asked on March 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

So long as what was said about you was the truth, there is no legal prohibition as to what your former employer can tell your co-workers as to why you were terminated. That is the case as long as doing so does not breach the terms of any applicable union agreement, employment contract, company policy or confidentiality agreement. If, however, what was disclosed about the reasons for your dismissal were not true, then you could have a cause of action for defamation. Also, your ex-employer must not have disclosed any medical conditon that may have been the cause for discharing you; that would be a violation of your rights under HIPPA.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

They can tell anything--to either employees or to potential employers--which is the truth, even if it is embarrassing or harmful to you, so long as they did not agree in a contract (e.g. a confidentiality or severance or separation agreement) to not disclose this. But in the absence of a contract, any employer may discuss or release the true facts about why an employee left or was let go.

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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