Is a former employer allowed to give you a bad reference? In a word, YES.

If you have been terminated, faced disciplinary action, or had other problems on past jobs, your former employers CAN reveal that to a company considering you. Contrary to common belief, there ISN'T a law prohibiting this. As long as the information is truthful and factual it can be revealed. While companies may have a policy to only confirm that you were employed, they are not limited to only providing that information.

How do you overcome this if you have problems in your work history? First of all, take an honest assessment of your performance and/or behavior that resulted in your former employer's action. Own what happened when interviewing -- and bring it up first. Explain briefly what occurred -- and how you have learned and grown from the experience. That way YOU control the way in which your prospective employer learns about what happened. Be upfront and be positive and confident .. and most of all, be honest.

This article explains more: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-can-employers-say-about-former-employees-2059608 #termination #backgroundcheck #jobsearch

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Ashley Wilson
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Thank you Lois Martin for taking the time to share this! You are absolutely right that employers can disclose certain bits of information such as when and the reason you were terminated.

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Richard Gallant
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Yes they can revail information about you how ever many employers give information that can be misleading or based on their opinion. Many states are now looking into what empoyers can can and cannot give. The basic questions are did the employee work there , from when to when , and would you rehire. Far to often in smaller company's like Hospitality field the manager does the hiring but anyone who answers the phone can give a review good or bad with out the manager knowing as there are no h.r departments. This practice must be changed

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Maureen Hilderbrand
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Good article. Larger companies still really go with a few hard and fast rules. All questions regarding a former employee must go through the HR service centers if they have one. And they are very strict per the labor lawyers for the companies on what is acceptable to state. Number one reason for that is to eliminate as many lawsuits as possible. It is not about right VS wrong. It is about lawsuits. By same token, no references, or letters can be written on company letterhead. Must be from own email, and own letterhead.

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Cynthia Wallace
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I think this is a great article, and employees should be able to discuss horrible companies and managers too. Away with looking down on employees who are truthful about the companies they work for, and not being honest about past employers. Both sides are equally as important. This is only my opinion of course. Others may have a different position on this.

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Mary Neu
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You just get scared they say something that is not true because they do not want you to quit for a new job or they want the only option for employment to be them. Which is what I feel like an employer somewhere was doing, but not sure. They do not tell candidates anything so how do you know if anyone is lying or not?

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Carol Jordan
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Glassdoor.com often has reviews of employers. As far as employees and what a former employer can say about you, the article does say to check with your state's labor department website for information on state labor laws that limit what employers can disclose about former employees. As far as "factual and accurate," those are terms that could be misconstrued.

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George Sparlin
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Sometimes, it's not the what they say, it's in how they say it. There is a difference in phrasing that can be taken is negative, yet the words they use are positive on their own. Like, "Yes, they worked here." and "Yes.....they worked here." Drawing it out can be read as a negative emphasis. The questions that can legally be asked are few, but the responses can seem endless.

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William Wilson
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There's two sides to your comment, you're speaking like an employers word is gospel. That's a bunch of bs. Team leaders, coworkers, management all have their own agendas, especially the blue collar sector. I've seen people fired over flat out lies before and then have management come after me when I've spoken up about it. I'm in a skilled trade so it's easy for me to walk out of a job and into another in no time but when I'm asked in an interview why I left someplace I usually tell them it's because a lack of integrity on managements part. There's no loyalty in the workplace these days, you're just a clock number and there's 100 people that can take your place so do yourself a favor and always go for the money. Never stop looking for something better, Reflect and learn, how about people quit putting morons in positions of authority in the workplace.

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