Is a former employer allowed to tell a prosepctive employer that an employee was fired?

Asked on December 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this is completely legal so long as it is the truth: the law does not make information about termination confidential or otherwise protected, so your employer may freely share it with anyone. Indeed, if they lied about the fact that you were fired if a prospective employer called them for a reference, they could possibly become liable to the prospective employer if you employment did not work out, so the only safe things for them to do are either to tell the truth or say "we do not give out references" and politely hang up the phone.

If they lied and you were not fired, that would be a different story: in that case, they may have committed defamation, and you might have a legal claim against them.

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