Woodland Hills lawyer against Blacklisting & Defamation
“Do employers blacklist?
You bet they do!”
Can my Employer keep me from getting another new job?
Do you believe that you been blacklisted or defamed by a former employer preventing you from getting another job. Was it under suspicious circumstances? Was it undeserved? Were you a good employee? If the answer is “yes,” then you should speak with an attorney right away.
At the Webb Law Firm, we understand how important your job is to you. If you cannot get a job because you were unjustly blacklisted, you are probably worried, confused and wondering if you have any recourse? Someone has just stolen your dignity, self-esteem, confidence, joy, happiness, and quality of life. At our Woodland Hills, California law office, we will help you through this process.
What is blacklisting?
It is when a former employer attempts to prevent or exclude someone from subsequent employment. It is when someone is “marked for exclusion”. Do employers blacklist – you bet they do! It is many times an act of retaliation because the former employee caused them trouble. Even if your employer can lawfully terminate you they cannot ruin your good name or your reputation as a side effect of your termination. Yet it happens every day.
People who are professionals, executives, and management, have careers, are licensed, and work for government are especially vulnerable to blacklisting. These include those in occupations such as: Human resources professionals, medical, engineering, Police, firefighters, Safety, legal, security, and Federal, State and City employees.
As barbaric as it may seem, there are still some companies and people working within them that are not content to merely fire you or force you out of your job. They seem unwilling to rest until they have prevented you from ever finding work of any worth again. This may be done through gestures or tone of voice during reference contacts, or even by direct slander, which involves talking badly about a person or spreading vicious rumors.
California laws specifically prohibit blacklisting
The Labor Code (§1050-1053) specifies the following acts as blacklisting:
- Preventing or attempting to prevent former employee from getting work through misrepresentation.
- Knowingly permitting or failing to take reasonable steps to prevent blacklisting.
- In a statement about why an employee was discharged or left employment, implying something other than what is explicitly said, or providing information that was not requested. Furnishing information without a special request is prima facie evidence of a violation.
Disclosing private medical information, which is illegal to do, can lead to being denied a new job. A strong signal of possible blacklisting at work would be a series of situations in which potential new employers seem to be on the verge of hiring you, and then suddenly lose interest. This indicates that, when a prospective employer checks your references the former employer is tipped off and then says something, implying not to hire you. A statement that a company would not rehire an employee speaks volumes without ever reaching the details. They may say something like “I’m sorry, our company’s policy precludes me from providing information that reflects badly on former employees.” In other words there is more than one way to “skin a cat”.
California laws prohibiting Defamation
Defamation occurs when a false statement is given to a prospective employer that damages the reputation or economic interests of that person. Intentional defamation can also lead to blacklisting claims as well. A former employer is only free to state whatever they know to be factually true about an employee in references.
If a former employer is “blacklisting” you with direct slander and falsehoods you may also have a claim for defamation. However, they can contend it is an opinion, and opinion is a defense to defamation. Therefore, the blacklisting laws may be more helpful when their purpose is to prevent you from ever working again in your chosen trade, occupation or career.
What harm can come from you being Blacklisted or Defamed?
Being terminated from a job and then blacklisted or defamed, for most workers results in an unimaginable amount of stress, anxiety and depression. Finding another job is many times a lost cause because when they tell prospective employers why they were terminated they are blacklisted by all future jobs of any worth. Workers can never be certain they will find another similar job and soon learn that even if they do find another job, that job will not pay the same, offer the same benefits or even be in their chosen career. They will have to start all over again – at the bottom. The effects of a wrongful termination and resulting blacklisting or defamation can reach beyond financial problems, as the stress involved in being out of work can put a significant strain on every aspect of a workers life, especially their family.
The California Supreme Court addressed the importance of reputation and the damaging effects, stating,
“Good character, or reputation, consists of the general opinion of people respecting one. It is built up by a lifetime of conduct. It is probably the dearest possession that a man has, and once lost is almost impossible to regain. The possession of a good reputation is conducive to happiness in life and contentment. The loss of it, . . . brings shame, misery, and heartache.”
Society’s interest in redressing the harm done to one’s reputation is strong… Moreover, “[t]he harm done to one’s reputation can never be fully undone.”
If you or someone you know has suffered some type of injustice at work, we want to help you and while doing so be a voice for positive change – it will help deter future misconduct. The law provides that employees “shall be provided all relief necessary to make the employee whole.” We can help you determine what course of legal action is best for you. At the Webb Law Firm we are Employment Law Experts with a winning track record of holding employers accountable for workplace violations and protecting working families. So let’s talk!
Contact Us for a Free Confidential Consultation
Whenever possible, we handle cases on a contingency fee basis, our assurance that we believe in you and your case. We are confident that we can successfully recover for your harm and if we don’t win you don’t have to pay us one penny for our attorney fees. We are committed against injustice by those in powerful positions and to holding them accountable for injury or harm to innocent victims.