Can an employer give an employee a bad reference for calling off one shift?

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Can an employer give an employee a bad reference for calling off one shift?

I put my job down as current employer. When asked, he told the guys that a I called off one time to work my other job but never told them that I picked up 3 shifts to cover the time. I asked my boss about it and his answer was, “I have been burnt before, so I tell them the good and the bad”. Well, apparently he never said nothing good because they took back the offer for my city job. Do I have any type of a case.

Asked on April 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If what the employer said was true, you would not have a cause of action. The law does not require an employer to disclose good or positive information about an employee. The only restriction is that the employer cannot state any untrue negative factual statements about you which damage your reputation, since to do so would be defamation. However, a true statement is not defamation. So if you did call off that time to work a different job, the employer may legally say that, and is not required to also say that you had worked additional shifts to cover that time.


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