Slandered By Former Employer???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about not being hired because of bad remarks of a former boss:

Recently, my manager excused me from my small, part-time job. Although it was very sudden, she was nice about it and professional, explaining that ‘it wasn’t working out’. I took it gracefully and moved on. I put in an application for a job I was more than qualified for, with my ex-employer and her company as the last place I worked. I was basically guaranteed the job. But I did not receive a follow-up phone call, and I was worried. A friend of mine, who works as an assistant manager at a local store, called my ex-employer, questioning her about my position there; how long I worked at her company and all of the usual questions that go along with hiring.

Her response was less than professional, giving him information like “All of the other employees constantly had to pick up her slack” and that I was lazy. This was all news to me. I had been praised numerous times for working quickly and efficiently while employed there. Also, I was surprised that she would give a complete stranger this information. I believe that I was not hired for the new job because of her slanderous words. I’m not sure what to do besides not putting my ex-employer and her company as a job reference. Any advice would be appreciated.

Signed, Slander???

Dear Slander???:

Dan Kearney, an HR manager and one of our dependable guest respondents, advises: The law, if true, protects your former employer’s statements, since they’re in fact, true. If they are not true but malicious then they are indeed slanderous. Jerry Allen, another valued guest respondent who has HR experience, advises: I would not omit the part-time employment from the resume. You should have a good sense of what really transpired on your part-time temp job, and consequently, can weigh this advice and decide what you will do regarding what you think is defamation and what you will include on your resume. Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. That is thinking WEGO.

William Gorden