Job Reference Liability Lawyers
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Are Previous Employers Required to Give a Job Reference?
Previous employers are not required to give job references. However, if a previous employer does give a reference, he must disclose both the good and the bad qualities of the employee. Due to a fear of being sued, many employers now limit references to position title and start and end date.
What Can Previous Employers Discuss with Potential Employers?
Previous employers can discuss anything they want with potential employers. They can legally give out any true job related information based on credible evidence without liability regarding performance, promotions, and disciplinary action. Previous employers may also give out their personal opinions. When giving references, previous employers should limit their responses so that only information requested is revealed.
When Can an Employee Sue a Former Employer for Giving a Job Reference?
A previous employer may be liable to an employee for defamation if the employer communicates false statements that result in harm to the former employee's reputation. An employer may also face a suit for retaliation if false statements are made that result in harm to the formers employee's reputation if the former employee has filed any type of discrimination charge against the employer. There are several types of statements that often lead to successful defamation lawsuits against previous employers, including:
- Accusations (e.g., false accusations that a former employee used drugs)
- Statements made in bad faith or with malice (e.g., intentionally lying to prevent the former employee from getting a job)
- Statements made to people other than the interested employer
How Much Can I Sue for if My Former Employer Defamed Me?
Damages in successful defamation suits against a previous employer may include compensation for lost earnings, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and in extreme cases, punitive damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer if My Former Employer Defamed Me?
If a previous employer has lied about your job performance, promotions, or any disciplinary actions taken against you, the employer may be liable for libel for defamation. An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine whether you are entitled to damages. If you chose to sue, an employment lawyer can represent you in court.
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Last Modified: 12-30-2013 12:22 PM PST
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