Do i have the right to tell my new employer what happen to me at my last job

I was bullied at work and went off on disability. I am now doing a gradual return to work with my same employer but at a new location. I want to let my new boss know what happened to me so they can understand my condition. My HR department says I cant tell them anything because it is against the law.

Asked on April 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you signed any confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement (or some other agreement, like a settlement, containing such terms), then if you do tell, you will be in violation and could be sued. If you didn't sign such an agreement, and there also was no court order (e.g. if there had been some litigation pertaining to the matter), then you can tell: when there is no court order and no agreement, a person can tell what happened to them. That said, it would be *extremely* unwise to tell your new boss--
1) If you say anything that is any way exaggerated or not 100% provably true, you may commit defamation and could be sued;
2) Speaking not just as a lawyer but as a former executive married to an HR director, an employee who will tell negative things abouta  former employer cannot be trusted--they will reveal confidences from or bad mouth their current employer, too. Even if you would not in fact do that, you will create an impression that you would and will damage yourself at your current job.

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