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Ex-employer trashing my name after I resigned...?
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Ex-employer trashing my name after I resigned...?

I live in California.

I am an engineer, who resigned my position after two unfullfilling years, and I am getting through the grapevine that they are taking trash about me to potential employers...

What can they say about me, legally, and what recourse might I have.

Thanks for your help.


A former employer can say anything they want about you in a reference as long as the information is true. However, most employers only give basic information to avoid being sued by the former employee.

What's happening is that your former employer is spreading bad information about you informally, off the record. I'm sure the engineering community is small and people know each other and they talk. It's very hard to prove this is happening unless people are willing to testify that they heard this person slandering you.

You could hire an attorney to write a letter to your former employer's company, demanding that the bad-mouthing stop, or you could visit the HR department yourself and explain to them what has happened and that you want it to stop. I'm willing to bet someone will speak to your former manager and he will stop talking about you. I'm also willing to bet the HR department will only confirm dates of employment after that.

Legally they can only advise your position, your salary and total time of employment with them.

That is Slander and if you can prove it they are open to a lawsuit, the chick above is right those are the only things they can legally say about you, they can also answer the question, would you ever rehire he or she?

Many employers are neutral about a bad reference. My advice to you is do not reveal any negative situation unless directly asked. If you must explain a negative situation, keep it brief and blame-free. Emphasize how you have learned from the situation and emphasize that the same problem will not reoccur.

If you simply had a troublesome relationship with a former boss or co-workers but were not fired, there is no need to share these negative details in the interview.

All we really need to keep firmly in mind when we have an employment handicap is this one simple truth: There are two kinds of employers: those who will be put off by your handicap, and therefore won't hire you; AND those who will not be put off by your handicap, and therefore will hire you, if you are able to do the job.

You are only looking for those employers who are not put off by your handicap, and therefore will hire you if you can do the job.

So: if the employer you are talking to in a particular interview is obviously bothered by your (supposed) handicap, you want to quietly bring that interview to a conclusion, and ask them -- in parting -- if they know of anyone of anyone else who might be interested in your skills. Keep going until you find that second kind of employer.

Peace and blessings!

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