Do I have any protection or recourse in preventing a former employer from continuing to block me from gainful employment?

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Do I have any protection or recourse in preventing a former employer from continuing to block me from gainful employment?

I was recently terminated for excessive absences. I do not wish to fight the termination nor the reasons for it. I unfortunately had a personal issue with alcohol and let it get out of hand. Though this is not included in the reasons for my termination, it is something that my employer found out after my termination. However, due to the small size of my industry, news had reached my former employer of where I was interviewing next, and without solicitation, he called the company twice to tell them of my regrettable personal choices. It seems, he is trying to impose a non-compete.

Asked on July 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is no recourse against someone doing something legal, even if it causes you problems or prevents you from getting employment. For example, there is no law which prevents someone from contacting another person, to tell them something truthful about a third person, even if that disclosure or information hurts the third person. If the former employer is lying about something--making a factual statement that is untrue--that would be different; that might be defamation and you might have a cause of action. But if the former employer is telling the unvarnished truth, there is probably nothing you can do, unfortunately. You may need to consider a different industry or relocating, since you can't stop someone from talking if they're just telling the truth.


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