Can my previous employer give the reason for my termination to any company I apply for?

I was fired back 4 months ago for misconduct. My previous employer told me that I could use them as a reference but now that I had a job offered, when the new company called my previous employer for reference they released the reason for my termination. So now the job that was offered to me is off the table because of their reference.

Asked on June 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When an employee leaves their job (either voluntarily or by termination), their ex employer may disclose any information about their past performance so long as the information is true. So, for example in your case, you were terminated due to misconduct. Accordingly, your previous employer may share this reason and the details regarding it with prospective employers. However, anex-employer cannot make any statements that are false or "defamatory". If this happens, the worker may be able to file a lawsuit for defamation of character.

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