Is there anything that can be done if a supervisor promises to give a good reference,but then gives a bad one causes a job offer to be resented?

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Is there anything that can be done if a supervisor promises to give a good reference,but then gives a bad one causes a job offer to be resented?

My ex a supervisor swore up and down that he would
wonder references for me and I had a job offer resented
because of the bad one he gave me.

Asked on May 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A promise like this is not enforceable, since it did not form a contract on account of the supervisor not getting anything of value (any "consideration") in exchange for the promise.
The law does not require good references or prohibit bad ones.
If the supervisor committed defamation, he could be sued. Defamation is making untrue factual assertions that damage your repuation, such as claiming you were frequently absent, when you were not, or had stolen from the company, when you did not. However, true facts, even if harmful to you, are not defamation, and negative opinions are not defamation either--so the supervisor could say that he though you were "lazy," or "rude," or "unpleasant," or a "bad worker," since all those are simply his opinions, not facts.


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