Can my current employer give a potential employer a bad reference about me?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

The employment reference process is one that the courts have recognized as privileged so long as the past employer conveys honest reference information. In other words, so long as your previous employer does not make any false factual statements, it can provide an unflattering, or “bad”, reference. Your previous employer has a duty to respond truthfully to questions about your employment or it could be liable to your potential employer for deceiving it about your employment history. Additionally, you may have authorized your prior employer to provide the information as part of your job search by executing some form of authorization for your prospective employer or job search agency.

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