What can I do about defamation of character from previous employer.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What can I do about defamation of character from previous employer.

I recieved a job through an elementary
school and was told in writing to put in
my notice. A week later I was called and
told they changed their mind based off
of a reference from a previous employer
who is legally not allowed to provide
any information other than times of
employment. I left the previous employer
due to a hostile work environment and
now they are affecting my career and
future. At this point I am stuck and
unsure what to do from here.

Asked on October 27, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is only the provision or statement of factually untrue information. If the information they provided was factually true, even if negative, or was an expression of opinion (e.g. "he/she was a bad employee" or "was difficult" or "I would not hire them") or a value judgment, not a statment of fact, it was not defamation. Only untrue factual statements constitute defamation, and so can be sued over. There is no compensation for true fatual statements or opinions, even if harmful to you. If the statement was an untrue factual statement about you, however, then it likely would be defamation and you could sue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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