Reference Checks | Barrett & Farahany

Helping employees find justice in eleven states with offices in Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.

When you’re searching for a new job, a potential employer may need to contact former employers, or you may need to list professional references. This is a normal requirement for many jobs but could be an anxiety-inducing experience for employees. In some cases, you might not have had a great relationship with a former employer, or things did not end well when you left. You might be worried about what your former employer will say about you and if it can affect your chances of getting new employment.

At Barrett & Farahany, we understand how important it is to have opportunities for advancement in your career. Our employment lawyers in Alabama, Georgia, and Illinois can help you understand what your rights are and assist you when those rights are violated.

Reference Checks
Bad About a Former Employer Be Illegal

Can Saying Something Bad About a Former Employer Be Illegal?

There’s no law that prohibits an employer from saying something negative about you. However, they do need to speak honestly. In some cases, if an employer has something negative to say, they may choose to not say much at all, but if their negative reference is truthful, there isn’t much that you can do about it.

Of course, not all employers act ethically or according to the law. Some employers may want to cause you harm and risk your future opportunities. While employers can give a negative reference, they can’t lie. Providing misinformation about an employee could be considered defamation. Additionally, references can’t be related to an employee’s protected characteristics. Giving a negative reference based on lies as a way to discriminate against an employee due to their membership in a protected class could violate their rights to be free of discrimination in employment.

What to Do If Your Former Employer Gives a False Reference Check

When you need reference checks, you might feel like there’s nothing you can do to ensure what your former employers are saying about you is true. However, you don’t have to sit by wondering what your employer is telling people about you. If you suspect that an employer is providing negative or false information to prospective employers when contacted for a reference, Barrett & Farahany has resources we can recommend.

In situations like this, you might choose to utilize Allison & Taylor for help. This is a reference checking service that provides various paid professional services. Their services include but are not limited to helping employees determine what information former employers are circulating to prospective employers. If necessary, they can also send out cease and desist letters to employers who give false negative references.

Employer Gives a False Reference Check

Protect Your Rights with Barrett & Farahany

Managing your career and potential opportunities can be difficult enough without a former employee acting unlawfully and violating your rights. At Barrett & Farahany, our team is dedicated to fighting for employees throughout the U.S., including Alabama, Georgia, and Illinois. We work hard to see that you get the justice and fair treatment you deserve.

We offer free initial consultations to discuss your situation and determine how our team can best help you. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact us today. 

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Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Alabama Office

2 20th St N, Suite 900,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Illinois Office

77 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60601


Existing Clients: 866-989-0120