What Can A Former Employer Say To Potential Employers?

If you can’t get a job because a former employer is giving bad information about you to potential employers, can you sue your former employer?  Maybe, and it is difficult to do so.  There are a number of things you need to do for such a claim to be successful.

First, you need to find out why you did not get the job.  There are many reasons why you may have been rejected, only some of which might have anything to do with a former employer.  You are not allowed to guess that your former employer said something and then go to court.  You need actual proof as to whether your employer said anything and what it said.  How do you get that proof?  The potential employer needs to tell you that your former employer said something, or you need to ask.

Second, even if your former employer did tell something to a potential employer, your former employer has strong immunity from such claims under Iowa Code 91B.2  You need to have the evidence necessary to get around that immunity too.  Here is the text of Iowa Code 91B.2:

1. An employer or an employer’s representative who, upon request by or authorization of a current or former employee or upon request made by a person who in good faith is believed to be a representative of a prospective employer of a current or former employee, provides work-related information about a current or former employee, is immune from civil liability unless the employer or the employer’s representative acted unreasonably in providing the work-related information.

2. For purposes of this section, an employer acts unreasonably if any of the following are present:

a. The work-related information violates a civil right of the current or former employee.

b. The work-related information knowingly is provided to a person who has no legitimate and common interest in receiving the work-related information.

c. The work-related information is not relevant to the inquiry being made, is provided with malice, or is provided with no good faith belief that it is true.

Erbe Law Firm can assist with any employment law or labor law questions that you might have.  Please feel free to contact Erbe Law Firm for a free initial consultation with an employment law or labor law attorney.


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