Ex-Employer Says I Was Fired But I Resigned

Question:

I have recently found that an exemployer has answered a questionaire as ‘dismissed’ and not resigned.This was following a mutually agreed resignation following a bereavement of a stillbirth and subsequent poor performance on a training course which was not supported as expected by my immediate boss.

Signed,

Wronged


Answer:

Dear Wronged:

What you do will depend upon the size of the company where you used to work and who you will be communicating with to resolve this.

Your former employer gains nothing by harming your work chances. However, if the person answering the questionnaire sincerely believes you were dismissed (fired) he thinks he is answering correctly. So, the solution is to ensure that the truth is known and reported accurately.

Unfortunately, a former employer (an individual or the company as a whole) may not particularly care now, about whether you are helped or harmed. So, I think your approach will need to be one of asking for assistance and appealing to their sense of accuracy and decency about it.

If there was an HR or Personnel section involved in your exit you should contact them and tell them the former manager or supervisor incorrectly responded to questions about your exit from the company. Ask them to check your records to see what is shown and let you know your status.

If you wrote a letter of resignation and have proof it was sent or given to someone, give that to HR as a reminder and ask them to ensure it is in your files. Ask them to give you a letter verifying how you left the company. Or, ask them to send a letter to the potential employer who received the incorrect information.

If it is HR who is providing the incorrect information contact the person to whom you gave the resignation letter or with whom you talked on the day you resigned and ask them to assist you by correcting what HR has in their files.

If it is your former manager who is giving the incorrect informaton and he is the sole source for references or job information, write a civil letter and say that it is crucial that your departure from that job to be reported accurately. Remind him of the last conversations you had in which you agreed that leaving was in the best interest of all. Reiterate that you were not fired, you and he civilly agreed that you should quit. Ask him if he would please assist you by responding correctly about that exit in the future, so you can move forward in your life and work. (You can decide how you want to word it, but those are the essential issues to mention)

You didn’t mention what you are doing about the situation currently. If you have the chance, perhaps you can submit a letter to the person reviewing the questionnaire, explaining what happened (with or without the actual circumstances, according to how much you want to share).

Include a copy of the letter you sent to your last HR section or your last boss. That will show the potential employer that you sincerely do not believe the question was answered correctly. (As opposed to telling the potential employer it wasn’t correct but not questioning the last employer about it.) We are not lawyers so we don’t know the legal implications of this. It may be that having a former employer deliberately saying something false could be a matter for legal action. However, the cost of proving that and proving the impact of it would be high. I’m hoping that communicating about this in an open, honest way with everyone involved, will help you get the matter resolved.

Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

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.