What information can former employers give as to your employment with them?

I worked with a hostile boss for 5 years. We parted in mutual agreement and that boss is now gone. I had a freind (and potential employer) call her replacement inquiring of my time there. He admitted he did not know me but proceeded to read comments (negative and untrue) the former boss had written in my file (unknown to me). Is this legal?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A former employer may divulge work or disciplinary history, or the reason for an employee leaving, as long as their is no confidentiality or nondisclosure or nondisparagement agreement (such as might be found in a separation agreement) to the contrary.

However, if the former employer makes untrue factual assertions about you, that may be defamation. (Note: they must be untrue facts to be actionable; true facts, no matter how negative, or opinions, are not actionable.) If you believe you have been defamed, speak with a personal injury attorney to explore your rights and potential recourse.


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