If a bad reference cost me job opportunity, do I have case?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a bad reference cost me job opportunity, do I have case?

I left my last employer on good terms gave 2 weeks notice my last evaluation was good, I was even given going away party, so much to my surprise after using them as a reference for job opportunity which I already was offered pending my references checked out, I was called 2 days later stating they couldn’t extend job offer anymore because my references didn’t check out, when I asked was I given a bad reference I was told she rather I speak to the people I listed as references, in other words she didn’t want to get into detail or get involved.

Asked on April 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just what was said. A former employer may truthfully pass on information, even if it's negative. For example, if you were habitually late and they are asked, "Did X always get to work on time?", it would not be actionable to say, "No, X had 19 unexcused tardies last year." However, if they say something that is untrue, they may constitute defamation. Accordingly, even if they just pass on a negative opinion such as, "I think X is bad worker", they may be liable if they intentionally or negligently interfere with your ability to obtain new employment.As a consequence, most employers do not take the chance, so will simply say nothing other than verifying dates of employment. At this point, you may want to consider consulting directly with a local employment law attorney.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just what was said. A former employer may truthfully pass on information, even if it's negative. For example, if you were habitually late and they are asked, "Did X always get to work on time?", it would not be actionable to say, "No, X had 19 unexcused tardies last year." However, if they say something that is untrue, they may constitute defamation. Accordingly, even if they just pass on a negative opinion such as, "I think X is bad worker", they may be liable if they intentionally or negligently interfere with your ability to obtain new employment. As a consequence, most employers do not take the chance, so will simply say nothing other than verifying dates of employment. At this point, you may want to consider consulting directly with a local employment law attorney.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption