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My ex-boss didn't like me. Now what? California

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  • My ex-boss didn't like me. Now what? California

    So he didn't like me and trumped up a reason for firing me. (Assigned me a project paper and said it was not completed, even though it was.) So, firing for phoney reasons is not protected by California law. Stupid, but there it is. The problem comes from the fact I worked there for four years. Prospective employers insist upon finding their own references in addition to mine, and from an employer from within the last few years. I am guessing they find this guy because he is pretty prominent in the company. The upshot is that I have 30 years of excellent recommendations, I get excellent reviews by my interviewers, they ask for recommendations and then I'm dropped like a hot potato. I've become a pariah. I've been blackballed. I cannot gain employment. Now, what? Is there any practical way to just sue the guy and company?

  • #2
    Sorry, but you have no legal recourse unless this person in actually telling untruths about you. Not his opinion (Bob did a terrible job on the Johnson project), but an actual lie (Bob stole from the company, when Bob did not do so).
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
      Sorry, but you have no legal recourse unless this person in actually telling untruths about you.
      The untruth is that he fired me for failing to write a project paper. I wrote the paper, other software developers at the company considered it sufficient, but he ruled it insufficient. Did he say I failed to write the paper? I have no idea. The only actual feedback I get is, "our references for you did not check out." Who was spoken to and what was actually said is kept a secret.

      In other words, in the world of Linked-In connections, if you work for someone for a few years and someone there in a position of influence and authority dislikes you, then that is the end of your career. You will never be hired again. And there is no recourse.

      P.S. CF "lawyers.com":
      A previous employer is free to provide any non-confidential information about a previous employee, so long as it's true and isn't provided to maliciously harm the employee
      The operative part, from my perspective, being "maliciously harm". To me, the victim, it seems pretty malicious.....
      Last edited by BruceK; 03-15-2011, 02:02 PM. Reason: add quote

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      • #4
        Defamation laws are not really labor law, but rather a separate type of law. Very basically, to win a defamation claim, all three things must be true.
        - The other party made a false statement.
        - You can prove that the false statement occurred because of "malice" by the other party. Not opinion. Not mistakes, but the other party actively trying to damage you. The "Absence of Malice" movie does a good job of discussing this.
        - You must prove actual damages as a result of the above. "The QB VII" movie did a good job of discussing this point.

        If you are serious about this, you will need to talk to a lawyer who specializes in this stuff. This is a labor law site, and the answer I just gave is likely as much as any of the regular responders knows.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slander
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          However; if it is true or the employer's honest opinion of what they believe to be true,
          it's not illegal to give the information out. Sometimes the employee's opinion & the
          employer's opinion are not the same.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            Jinx, DAW - we posted at the same time.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              Thank you all, Patty, Betty and DAW. Yep. A slander suit. I needed some idea about which tree to go barking up, and I guess this answers it about as well as one can do on a web site. I do have a witness to the fact that this boss' boss does, in fact, regularly slander other folks working at the company. She moved her office away to get out of ear shot from it. She also still works there. Probably not an easy witness.

              Anyway, thank you all so much. I will be going forward with a local attorney. I hope the restitution of my career is not a futile hope. Regards, Bruce

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              • #8
                That's probably the best thing to do - talk to a lawyer & see if she/he thinks you
                "might" have a case.

                Good luck.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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