Best Ohio Wrongful Termination Attorney Response: Is my former manager allowed to bad mouth me to potential employers that I have applied to? What should I do if I did not get a job because my former boss lied about me? What information is my former employer allowed to give out to jobs that I applied for?
Nothing spells heartbreak like hearing those two little words from your boss, “you’re fired.” At first you go through many of the stages of grief for any type of loss in life—shock, denial, grief, and anger. You try to pick up the pieces and begin hunting for a job all over again, with the thought in the back of your mind that something wasn’t quite right with how you were let go. You begin sending out your resume and going on countless interviews, where things seem to go well during the interview, but you still receive a thin envelope in the mail stating you just weren’t the right fit or they went with someone else. Why is this happening? What if, along the way, you find out your boss is talking all kinds of smack about you that is not only true, but shows you were let go because of unlawful discrimination? What does the law say you can do?
Under Ohio law, it is unlawful for an employer to give a false or discriminatory employment reference to another employer. Specifically, under R.C. § 4113.71, an employer will be liable for giving a negative reference to another employer if either: (1) the employer knows the information contained in the reference is false, or makes the disclosure with the intent to mislead, in bad faith, or with a malicious purpose; or (2) the information is provided in violation of Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws in Ohio Revised Code § 4112.01, which make it illegal to discriminate against an employee or applicant in hiring, pay, promotions or firing based on race/color, religion, gender/sex, disability and national origin; or R.C. § 4112.02(N), R.C. § 4112.05, and R.C. § 4112.14, which protect employees from age discrimination. Employees have brought successful lawsuits against employers who engage in providing a false reference under the federal anti-employment discrimination laws found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under these anti-discrimination laws, your former boss cannot choose to give out glowing recommendations for White former employees while only giving a neutral or even bad reference to Black employees.
For example, your former manager cannot make an acceptation to the company policy to only provide dates of employment and position held in order to help a male employee that left, but just confirm that the standard information for women that have left.
In Robinson v. Shell Oil, the discharged employee, Robinson, was wrongfully fired because of his race and soon after his termination, discovered his previous employer was retaliating against him by providing a bad reference. In Robinson, the United States Supreme Court held that an employee who is terminated for racial discrimination could file a claim for retaliatory false reference:
According to EEOC, exclusion of former employees from the protection of §704(a) would undermine the effectiveness of Title VII by allowing the threat of post-employment retaliation to deter victims of discrimination from complaining to EEOC, and would provide a perverse incentive for employers to fire employees who might bring Title VII claims. Those arguments carry persuasive force given their coherence and their consistency with a primary purpose of antiretaliation provisions: Maintaining unfettered access to statutory remedial mechanisms. Cf. NLRB v. Scrivener, 405 U.S. 117, 121-122 (1972) (National Labor Relations Act); Mitchell v. Robert DeMario Jewelry, Inc., 361 U.S. 288, 292-293 (1960) (Fair Labor Standards Act). EEOC quite persuasively maintains that it would be destructive of this purpose of the antiretaliation provision for an employer to be able to retaliate with impunity against an entire class of acts under Title VII–for example, complaints regarding discriminatory termination.
So if you’ve been fired, and you find out your employer is giving out false information about your employment, you may have a claim for post-employment retaliation. If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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