Q & A Session – Former Employer Gives Negative and False Reference


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


A former employer of mine gave a false and negative employment reference on me. I was able to obtain the job, but I still feel scared. What can I do about this? Can I file an EEO complaint?


An EEO complaint is probably not effective, especially if your former employer was not the U.S. government. If you landed the job despite the negative reference, it is probably best not to draw attention to the reference and concentrate on doing your best work with your new opportunity.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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