Can’t Get A Job Because of False Statements

Question:

I was forced to resign my position as a EMS Administrator after I refused to play the political game the board was playing.

I have never had a negative word said about my performance, but I do know that my assistant was trying to get my job.

When I try getting a new job I get a poor reference and lose out. Now there is a narcotic investigation going on at the company and they are trying to blame me. They tell the people who call for a reference check that I am being investigated for narcotic abuse.

I haven’t used narcotics nor would I steal narcotics. I loved my job and didn’t want to leave. What should I do?

Signed,

Not Guilty


Answer:

Dear Not Guilty:

You need to get an attorney if you are being investigated for a crime. If you are not being investigated, an attorney could produce a letter demanding that your former employer stop giving false information. Or, an attorney could review the information to determine if you have civil recourse related to the statements made to potential employers.

However, having said that, let me also say that I think there is probably much more to this than your short question indicates. Hopefully you will be able to rebuild from this unpleasant experience, whether you were completely or partially at fault or if you were not at fault at all and did nothing wrong or unacceptable to your former employers.

If you have any of your former performance evaluations or can get them, use those to show your work history and how you were viewed. If there was even one or two people at your former work who thought highly of you, list them as references.

You will certainly have to find some way to either stop negative things from being said, offset them with positive things or prove that the statements are false and are hurting you economically, then take civil or criminal court action–or threaten it. Most employers are aware of problems related to references and will only verify employment dates, so perhaps you can get them to agree to do that. Whatever you do, you need some legal advice. At least consider asking for a free consultation to find out where you stand and if you need protection to save your work options.

Stay strong and document anything you hear and anything you can prove. Best wishes in you efforts about this.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.