What are previous employers allowed to say about you legally?

I know this is long, but please read and help me! I'm desparate!

I was a manager in a hotel in Aspen, CO until April. It was horrible. My boss was a total jerk and my position required me to work 12 to 14 hours a day, often with no days off for a month or more, and of course the guests there were often rude and abusive. I worked very hard at this job, completely revamping their training techniques, policies and procedures, earning them high marks with guest satisfaction and greatly improving the staff. I earned one stellar review, and one mediocre one (which was right at the end of the season, when I admittedly was starting to break down from the stress of the job). Less than 2 weeks after my mediocre review, and after I showed improvement and renewed energy in my position, I was fired, because I "didn't fit in". That was the only explanation I was given. I found out later from a friend who still worked there that a guest had complained about me to the manager, having mixed me up with another girl who works there that was apparently "dismissive" of this guest's needs. I had only spoken to this guest on one occasion, it was a short and actually cheerful conversation, which is why I'm certain she had me confused with one of the other managers who is admittedly rude and dismissive and looks somewhat similar to me. Anyway, I was very upset and forced to move out of my expensive apartment because I couldn't get another job, despite putting my resume in all over town. I have tons of management experience and a stellar resume, but no one would interview me. I had to move back in with my parents, and still couldn't get a job. I even started applying for waitressing jobs and regular front desk, but could not get hired. I thought this odd, so I had my friend call my old job and pose as a perspective employer. Low and behold, my old boss is telling people who check my employment that I was rude to the guests and he would not recommend hiring me! This has single handedly destroyed my career! I've been in the hospitality management buisness for 7 years, working tirelessly on furthering my career, and this hotel has sabatoged it! The thing is, I didn't even do anything wrong! I called my previous boss and told him I was aware of what he was saying and even told him that I was unjustly fired, and he said simply, "I'm sorry". Is there anything I can do? Do I have to lie and say I was unemployed for a year and a half? Isn't it illegal for him to say these things to people who are just calling to verify that I worked there? I don't know what to do and I'm devastated and concerned that my career, which I truly LOVE is ruined because I made the mistake of thinking it would be cool to live in Aspen. Please help, I can't afford to get another degree in something else and start over at 29 years old!

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    It is illegal for a previous employer to give out information that would prevent you from obtaining future employment.

    A previous employer should verify the dates you were employed, the position you were employed, and salary. Many prospective employers will ask the previous employer if they would rehire the employee and/or what is the employee's rehire status.

    You definately have a strong case against your previous employer. Did you ever file for unemployment benefits? If so, what was the outcome? You should not lie on your application or resume. In addition, if you are turned down for a position, by all means ask the employer why you were not hired for the position. Was it due to the employment verification they received from your previous employer?

    You can contact the Department of Labor to assist you with this matter. You can also consult private companies that offer services in the field of employment/labor laws.

    Here is a website that seems to be reasonable.


    Best wishes.

    Source(s): 12+ years specializing in HR
  • CatLaw
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    What an employer can say about prior employees depends on your local laws and precedent setting court cases in your state. Some states allow an employer to say whatever they want, as long as it is true, while other states limit the information provided to dates worked, title, and salary range. In order to be sure of the laws and how they are interpreted in CO you should contact a local employment attorney.

    There are a couple of options that an attorney can do for you. The attorney can send your former employer a Cease and Desist letter which in legal terms tells the employer to stop what they are doing or risk a lawsuit. No, it does not have the same impact if a non-lawyer does this. You need an attorney who can cite laws and cases on this subject along with the appropriate legal info.

    Another thing an attorney can do for you is to initiate a civil lawsuit against your former employer.

    Source(s): Illinois Employment attorney
  • 1 decade ago

    Legally they can say anything that is factual. If they are lying it is libel (or slander..one is in print and one is verbal but you get the point) and you can take them to court for that. Most employers will only say that you worked there and your dates of employment.

    DO NOT lie and say you were unemployed. If asked if they can contact the prior employer say no but explain to them why. Be careful not to sound like you don't take responsibility but more so that you unfortunately worked for a less than truthful manager. If you have copies of your reviews keep them handy. They may use those instead of a verbal verification.

  • 4 years ago

    Basically, work record, days late, absent, any work ethics, get along with others, works well unsupervised, and what reasons for being dismissed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    sounds like you need to threaten your old boss with a lawsuit.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I didn't read all that.

    All they can say is the time that you worked there and title

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