Can a former employer call your current employer and bad-mouth you?

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Can a former employer call your current employer and bad-mouth you?

My ex-employer, who terminated me on the 27th, called my new employer on the 29th and got me terminated. I see this as harassment since I was no longer my former employers concern. Do I have any rights?

Asked on December 10, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends. You say the former employer "bad mouthed" you. If what the former employer said was false--i.e. the former employer made untrue factual assertions about you, to another  person, which damaged your reputation and caused  that person (your new employer) to not want to do business with you--then you may have a claim for defamation against the former employer. However, if he or she either stated  opinions, not facts, or else made true factual statements, you would not have a cause of action. If the former employer committed defamation, you may also have a claim for tortious interference with a business relationship, if the former employer intended to get you fired. However, generally, if what the former employer said was simply an opinion or was true, you probably do not have a claim--it's very rare that it's possible to sue someone for telling the truth or stating an opinion.


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