Legal Question in Employment Law in Maine

i was fired from a job for stealing money from a co-worker. i was in a bad place, made a big mistake, and would like to pay my dues and move forward with my life. i did get a second job, which i was doing very well at, but did not disclose my previous job to them. coincidentally, my new employer and old employer were friends so it was a short ammount of time before i then got fired from that job too. my previous employer disclosed all the details of my termination to my new employer, but also included things that were not true. now, months later, my roommate called my old employer and pretended to be a manager of a restaurant that was looking to hire me. my roommate "manager" asked if i was eligable for re-hire. not only did my former employer reveal all the details of my termination, but he also revealed information that wasn't true. in addition to that, my former employer said at the job i had after his, i stole money from their register too and that is why i was fired. which is 100% false. please tell me that something about that situation is illegal and i can do something about it. or is it legal for just anyone to call my old boss and pretend to be a hiring manager in order to find out details about my past? i'm trying to move on, but how can i ever work again when my old boss is practically lying to go above and beyond keeping me from getting another job?

Asked on 12/08/11, 5:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Heidi Pushard Law Office of Heidi M. Pushard

A former employer can make negative comments about you so long as it has a good faith basis for the comments. So, a former employer can tell a prospective employer that you had problems meeting quotas at times, or had attendance problems, or similar things if it has information to support those comments. Your past performance reviews or other employment records may contain such information.

If your employer gives you a bad reference that's unjustified or is meant to sabotage your chances of getting a job, and you in fact don't get the job, you may be able to sue for defamation or slander.

Read more
Answered on 12/12/11, 3:53 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Labor and Employment Law questions and answers in Maine