How can I stop my old job from blackballing me to where it stops me from getting another job?

I quit a job of almost 5 yrs. I received a citation and reported it to the company like I was supposed to. They called me into the office and wanted me to sign a paper relinquishing all my bonuses for a year just to keep my job. I was going to do that and then the dispatcher came into the room and started hounding me over and over about this one citation. He would not let up. So I handed over my keys and walked out the door. I am in the process of applying for another job and found out that they are telling future employers that they terminated me and that I have an unsafe work record.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Nothing stops them from telling prospective employers the truth--e.g. that you were terminated, if  you were terminated--unless there was  some nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement.

However, they may not lie. If  they are telling anyone factual statements about you which are untrue, that may be defamation, and you may be able to sue them for monetary compensation. Note that opinions, however, are not defamation--so saying you were frequently absent, when you were not, for example would be defamation, while saying "John Doe was a lousy employee" is not defamation, since it is an opinion, not a statement of fact.

If you believe you may have been defamed, you should contact an attorney.

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