Can An Undesirable Job Reference Be Seen As Employer Retaliation?

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Denis ZilberbergSeptember 29, 2017Retaliation

According to federal and state law in California, it can.

When your employer says, “You’re fired!” it feels like your life can’t possibly get any worse. You take a few weeks off to Netflix-and-chill at home as you go through the stages of grief for losing your job.

But then you finally come to grips with your jobless status and start sending out resumes to find a new job. And that’s when you find out that your previous employer gave you an undesirable job reference and it’s playing a cruel joke on your chances to land a prestigious job.

In fact, your employer appears to lie about the reason you were fired in the job reference. And it’s ugly, and no one will hire you now…

Is there a way out of this seemingly hopeless situation?

Here at the Kaufman Law Firm, we help victims of employer retaliation to recover and get the compensation for all the damages to their income and reputation as a result of a negative job reference.

Can you get compensation for a negative job reference in Westlake Village?

Employer retaliation is a widespread issue in both Westlake Village, as an increased number of employers refuse to give positive feedback about their former employees, especially those that engaged in protected activity under federal or state civil rights laws.

While California state has recently updated the terms of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees who receive an undesirable job reference can still receive compensation if they prove their employer’s retaliatory motive.

Hiring a Westlake Village retaliation attorney can make a huge difference and help you collect the required documents and evidence that find the employer liable for post-termination retaliation.

Contact The Kaufman Law Firm at 310-981-3404 to schedule an initial consultation and find the best strategy to obtain the maximum compensation for your former employer’s retaliatory actions.

What should you do to get compensation for employer defamation?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance manual, unlawful retaliation includes giving an undesirable job reference or refusing to provide any job reference.

Under federal and state laws in Westlake Village, it is unlawful for employers to give undesirable job references or refuse to give any reference just because the employee has complained of unlawful discrimination in the workplace or refused to comply with the employer’s illegal activities during his/her duty.

It’s highly recommended to consult a retaliation attorney in Westlake Village to determine whether or not a negative reference amounts to defamation, and thus could result in a lawsuit to obtain favorable compensation.

Any negative job reference can be true, false or just an opinion. In case the employer-provided truthful information against the employee, the latter will not be able to collect damages under defamation law.

The same goes for opinion-based undesirable job references. The only job references that entitle employees to collect damages are those in which the employer provides false information in order to prevent his/her former employee from landing a new job.

In this case, in order to win the maximum compensation for damages to your reputation and lost wages (for not landing a new job), an employee will need to:

  • Hire an experienced retaliation attorney to determine the best methods of pursuing defamatory claims in court
  • Collect a sizeable amount of documentation, evidence and witness accounts (your former colleagues) to prove that the employer’s job reference contains false factual statements.

Under California state law, if a former boss “by any misrepresentation prevents or attempts to prevent” their former employee from landing a new job, it amounts to a misdemeanour.

If you were a victim of employer retaliation or defamation, do seek immediate help from an experienced Westlake retaliation Village attorney. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to obtain the maximum compensation for your damages.



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Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.

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