The job market, even at its best, can be a daunting and challenging place for those seeking new employment. Sprucing up your LinkedIn account, updating your resume for job hunting sites, and deciding which references to use are all part of the modern day job hunt. One aspect few consider, however, is your former employer’s reference.
Any new job will want to know firsthand how you were as an employee at other companies. What happens if your former employer gives a bad reference, though? Not only can this impact your ability to find a job, but you might be a victim of retaliatory job references. If you feel this might be the case, then here’s what you need to know.
The Employee-Employer Relationship
Outside of the jobs you had in high school or even college, it’s rare for a working relationship to fully end. You might have money tied up in the company with a form of retirement savings, intellectual property you must still protect, and even trade secrets that you cannot speak of. None of that goes away when you become a former employee.
Employers also maintain some semblance of a relationship when they must provide reference to potential future employers. Employers can’t say whatever they want, however. There are laws that dictate what they can and can’t say about you.
What employers can share is basic information. That includes employment dates, job responsibilities, wages, promotions, and identity information for hiring purposes. They can also share if you left the job on your own accord or if you were dismissed from the position.
Most employers will never share specific details about your conduct at work. While they can talk about your professional conduct, they cannot actively try to tarnish your reputation. This is especially true if you were the victim of harrasment, a hostile work environment, discrimination, or filed a lawsuit against te company for something they had done.
If you feel that you’re missing out on potential job opportunities because a former employer is hurting your reputation, you do have legal recourse. You’ll need to hire skilled legal aid, like these employment lawyers in San Francisco, to help build and fight your case.
It isn’t always easy to discern when a former employer is speaking ill of you, especially in a legal sense. Proving that someone is using words to tarnish your reputation is tough to do when the culprits and those they speak with refuse to tell the truth about what’s going on.
However, you do have the right to seek compensation and put your old boss in their place when retaliating against you. If you find that you’re constantly missing out on job offers you are well-qualified for and have a good idea that your former employer may be the reason, it’s time to talk with an attorney about your rights and how to move forward.
Don’t sit idly by as your reputation within your professional field is smeared. Speak with a legal professional today and seek help. The only way to get a former employer to knock it off is to put the pressure of the law on them.