How do I get my ex-employer from giving me BAD references?
I did not get fired, I quit and gave proper notice. I frankly had enough of my managers behavior and needed to get out of that environment. I have learned that in Michigan, its legal to give negative references as long as there is documentation to back up thier claims. I worked their for 4 years, was promoted twice and I cannot simply not put this company in my resume. The last year I worked there was horrible beyond comprehension. I kept getting write ups and I couldn't figure out what I was doing and what I needed to change my behavior. I felt that it was a contructive discharge but I never could figure out a way to prove it. I went on alot of interviews and a couple of places said after the interview that I was hired as long as nothing came up in my refrence check, Apparently something did come up-the place were I work now was kind enought to show me. It's not a very good job but, I figure If I stick it out for a year I will get something better.
It IS legal to give negative refrences about an employee's work history. They can say ANYTHING they want in MICHIGAN as long as they can back it up with documentation. There is a release form you have to sign in order for the company you are applying at to check your refrences.
You should contact the head of HR at that company and tell them your story, and make it abundantly clear that if they don't cease and desist with the bad talk you WILL sue.
Have you considered rewording your resume to indicate you left employment voluntarily?
They are only supposed to verify that you worked for the comapny, your title, and the dates you worked.
previous employers can't give bad references. they can't just flat out say someone was a horrible worker.
They, by law, can not give a BAD ref for you, they can say they dont want to comment other than verifiying that you worked there and that kind of stuff, but they cant say something bad!
As an employer in Michigan, he's right, we can tell the truth about former employees. We cannot slander or libel them but if we have proof we can offer up anything. That being said, your former employer is still not being smart by crossing that line. My company simply confirms dates of employment, title and whether or not you are eligible for rehire. That last one is key for a lot of people. I won't hire anyone who isn't eligible for rehire at their last position unless they gave me forewarning that I could expect a bad reference and a legitimate reason why I could expect a poor reference. You can send them a letter or have an attorney send a letter but the actual best tactic may be to explain to your interviewer exactly what you explained here with maybe a bit more detail of why you feel it was an unfair discharge. Be careful not to come across as whining about the situation though because it is another red flag for your interviewer.
Don't list them as a reference. Come on man! You don't HAVE to be 100% truthful. Don't tell my boss but, I don't really speak Spanish.
Employers can say wahtever they want to say. This idea that is illegal is simply people complaining and those complaint eventually becoming urban legend.
If you were at that job for a long time you probably don't want to leave it off your resume...it will look like you weren't working. Is there someone else there or at the corporate level you could use as a reference?
i would seek legal advice if i were you
Have a friend call pretending to be a potential employer and find out exactly what was said about you. If you disagree, dispute it in writing by sending letter to company (supervisor of the person giving bad references and the HR Manager). Document everything and explain to potential employer. Ask potential employer to call more than one person in the company, tell them exactly who is giving the bad reference and why. I work in HR and we are very understanding. If you be truthful, we will understand.
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