What to do if a former employer is slandering me to inquiring employers?

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What to do if a former employer is slandering me to inquiring employers?

I was formerly an independent contractor of a company who I had a terrible experience with. I recently applied for a new job and they called the previous company. The owner not only gave them a negative reference with inaccurate information but also slandered me by telling the hiring company I was “crazy” and worse. I subsequently did not obtain the position. Do I have a case for slander and/or what else?

Asked on December 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with a personal injury attorney--you may have a claim for defamation. Defamation is the public--which means to any  third parties, like a prospective employer--making of untrue factual statements that damage a person's reputation or causes others to not want to work/do business with him or her.

Opinions are not defamation--so calling you "lazy" or "mean" would not be defamation, since those opinions. And true facts are not defamation, no matter how damaging. But if you believe that inaccurate or untrue negative factual statements are made about you, that may be defamation, and you may be able to seek compensation and/or an order preventing the former employer from doing this in the future.


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