Can a former employer call people to tell them why you were fired?

UPDATED: Feb 2, 2011

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Can a former employer call people to tell them why you were fired?

My former boss called a mutual friend (not business-related) and gave specific details about why I was fired. Can he do that?

Asked on February 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can.  While unprofessional, it is legal.  The only exceptions would be if this action violated company policy or any applicable employment/union agreement.  Also, if this situation arose to to some form of workplace discrimination.  Absent that, this unfortunate behavior is does not violate the law. That is, as long any comments made were the truth.  If they weren't then you may have a claim for defamation; specifically slander.  You didn't however indicate this to be the case. 

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 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.

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