|What Can I Do If I Receive a Negative Job Reference?||
Last updated: July 2009
Yes. In general, under Illinois law an employer can give out negative information about you in a job reference as long as the information they give out is truthful and related to your job
Not necessarily. People get turned down for jobs for many reasons and it may have nothing to do with your references.
Yes. An employer may say that you were fired because it is both truthful and related to your job performance.
You have several options:
There are many companies available for a fee that will call your former employer posing as a
new employer and ask for a job reference. They will then provide you with a report of what was said about you. Some of these companies include:
There are many other such companies that can be found on the Internet.
There are a number of approaches you can take:
“Ms. Brown may tell you that I was tardy, but it was for a two week period during which I experienced some major transportation problems. I immediately realized the
importance of a reliable automobile and worked diligently to purchase a new car. Once my vehicle issue was resolved, I was never late again and didn’t miss a single day of work.”
If you have proof that the employer is giving out untruthful negative information that is not related to your job performance (for example, saying that you were involved in a criminal matter outside of work that you were, in fact, not involved in), you may have a private legal claim against them.
Note: In order to have a claim you will have to be able to establish that you were damaged as a result of their false statements. If you have one of the rare situations wherein the employer may be subject to liability for their statements about you, you will need to find a private attorney to represent you.
For a list of organizations in your area that may be able to help you, enter your zip code.
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