Can a previous employer call my current employer and disclose that I am seeking employment with a 3rd company?

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Can a previous employer call my current employer and disclose that I am seeking employment with a 3rd company?

I performed contract work for a company through a temp agency in early 2010. Following the contract, the company hired me directly under their payroll. A prospective employer recently contacted the temp agency to verify employment. The temp agency then contacted my current boss and told him I was seeking other employment. My current boss has since confronted me making it very uncomfortable to be at work. Did the temp agency have a right to contact my current employer to tell them I was looking for other work even though they had nothing to do with the future employment possibility?

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

My gut feeling on this is absolutely not.  They did not act properly in this situation.  They were contacted to verify employment only.  But, I am hard pressed to think of what "law" they broke.  They have no fiduciary responsibility to you and really they probably called and told your employer because they have a business relationship with HIM that they do not want to risk as he uses them for temporary help, correct?  I would call the agency and let them know that their business practices are unprofessional and that you will be filing a compliant with the better business bureau.  In the meantime, I hope you get that other job. 


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