Can a former employer say negative things to a third party about a former employee
As employment law attorneys, one of the most common questions we get is: “Can my employer say something bad about me to a prospective of new employer.”
Although it is not wise for an employer to say negative things about a former employee, generally speaking, only false statements or statements that puts the former employee in a false light, is legally actionable. In other words, former employers can be sued under defamation if they spread falshoods about their former employees.
Experienced employers avoid such claims by giving a neutral reference concerning their former employees.
If a former employee believes that a former employer is saying false things about him or her, then there are certain actions the employee can take through an attorney. For starters, the attorney representing the employee can conduct a background check for the employee through a third party which works for the employee. This third party can call former employers to find out exactly what it is that they are saying about the employee.
If the statements are false or put the former employee in a false light, then an attorney can send a cease and desist letter to the employer. This letter is like a warining to the employer so that the malicious statements stop.
If a cease and desist letter does not work, and there are valid defamation claims, then the employee can seek to protect his or her rights by filing a defamation lawsuit.
Our attorney at Arcadier and Associates can help. Come see us for a consultation.