If a previous boss talks about me to a potential employer and that employer says he will ensure I am not hired, what can I do?

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If a previous boss talks about me to a potential employer and that employer says he will ensure I am not hired, what can I do?

I am on the list to interview for the job.

Asked on January 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you had some separation or other agreement which contained a non-disparagement clause, or required the former employer to only give you a good recommendation, you could sue to enforce the contract or for compensation for its breach.

Or if the former boss is making untrue factual statements about you which damage your reputatin, that might be defamation, and you may be able to sue on that basis.

But if the former boss is 1) stating opinions about you (e.g. "I think John/Jane Doe is a lousy worker"), 2) making true factual statements about you (e.g. saying that you were fired for being excessively absent, when that was in fact the case), or 3) simply asking the other employer to not hire you (e.g. "As a favor to me, would you not hire John/Jane Doe? I don't like him/her."), that is, unfortunately legal. In those cases, there is probably nothing you can do.


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