How can I get former employers to only release to prospective employers my dates of employment with them and no other information otther than that?

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How can I get former employers to only release to prospective employers my dates of employment with them and no other information otther than that?

I drive a semi truck and in the past 2 years have had 2 fender benders in truckstop parking lots that I have not been cited for and are not on my DAC report or CDL driving record, however they are documented with the companies whom i was driving for at the time. Now when I seek a new job and the new employer goes to get employment verification from my previous employers – even though they see nothing on my DAC or hire right report, my former employers are telling them that I have accidents that are pending – which is not true and this is crippling my efforts to get a local driving job.

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

How can you get former employes to release your dates of employment--unfortunately, you can't. There is no law or legal obligation requiring former employers to provide this information, and they are free to not provide it.

Can you prevent your former employer from telling untruths about you, such as that you have accidents pending when you do not--yes, you should be able to do this. Defamation is the public (which includes to any other person) making of untrue statements of fact which damage a person's reputation or make others not want to work with him or her. Saying that you had accidents which are pending when you do not would seem to be a false statement of fact which damages your reputation or makes others not want to work with you (since you are a trucker). You may be able to sue your former employer for defamation, for compensation for any jobs you lost owing to their false statements, as well as for a court order preventing them from defaming you; you could also inform them that if they continue to state untruths about you, you will take legal action. If they do not stop doing this, you should consult with an attorney about the situation and your best recourse.


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