Can an old employer tell new prospected employer reason behind your firing

I was fired for not taking a
random drug test when they told me
they were doing a new process and
didn’t give me any notice there
was no reason for them to stay
with me and didn’t go back for
anyone else do i refused to take
one and now they are telling my
new employers why i got fired

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Absent a confidentiality agreement or other document which prohibited such a disclosure, a former employer may legally inform a prospective employer of the reason behind your termination. That is so long as all statements made about you are true; if they are not then you may have a cause of action for a defamation lawsuit. Bottom line, an ex-employer has no legal obligation to keep such information private.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they are allowed to tell a prospective employer this: the reason you were terminated is not inherently confidential or protected by law, and any person may tell any other person any true fact, including ones harmful to you. They cannot lie about you--that could be defamation--and if you had a confidentiality agreement preventing this from being disclosed, they'd have to honor the agreement; but apart from that, they can share this information.

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