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Old 06-25-2012, 05:39 PM
 
44 posts, read 133,872 times
Reputation: 14

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Worked for an employer for about 2 years.
Employer fired me due to a due to a difference of opinion about job responsibilities. He wanted me to take on new responsibilities without increasing my compensation, when I refused to take on the new responsibilities, he fired me.
I had to file for unemployment, but the unemployment office had no records that I was ever employed. He was giving me 1099 forms and payed me as an independent contractor (I was not aware of the difference at the time) and not as an employee, when in fact I was en employee.

I had to file a petition with the IRS stating that I was employee and that I was being reported incorrectly for taxes--in order to receive unemployment. My petition triggered an audit of his business and he faces possible fines and back taxes. He is not happy about it and I know he will do anything possible throw me under the bus if the opportunity arises.

I am receiving unemployment now, but the dilemma I have is how to I account for the 2 years I worked for him on my resume. I do not want future employees to contact him to verify employment because I know he will trash talk me and prevent me from finding a new job (Yes I know it is illegal for employers to do this, but this guy is a fraud and has no concern for the law).

What do I do? How do I protect myself from losing new employment opportunities?
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Location: California
4,402 posts, read 11,606,871 times
Reputation: 3129
Quote:
Originally Posted by aet08 View Post
Worked for an employer for about 2 years.
Employer fired me due to a due to a difference of opinion about job responsibilities. He wanted me to take on new responsibilities without increasing my compensation, when I refused to take on the new responsibilities, he fired me.

This could be an issue, honestly, as MANY employers will feel that an employee should be willing to take on new responsibilities as the job evolves.

I had to file for unemployment, but the unemployment office had no records that I was ever employed. He was giving me 1099 forms and payed me as an independent contractor (I was not aware of the difference at the time) and not as an employee, when in fact I was en employee.

I had to file a petition with the IRS stating that I was employee and that I was being reported incorrectly for taxes--in order to receive unemployment. My petition triggered an audit of his business and he faces possible fines and back taxes. He is not happy about it and I know he will do anything possible throw me under the bus if the opportunity arises.

I am sure you are right, that he will NOT say nice things about you if he is contacted.

I am receiving unemployment now, but the dilemma I have is how to I account for the 2 years I worked for him on my resume. I do not want future employees to contact him to verify employment because I know he will trash talk me and prevent me from finding a new job (Yes I know it is illegal for employers to do this, but this guy is a fraud and has no concern for the law).

It is NOT illegal for employers to say bad things about employees...merely to LIE about employees while responding to references. Some states DO state that the employer can not disclose things from the employment file (specific quotes about job performance, etc), but stating that you were fired because you refused to take on additional responsibilities is 100% legal.

Your choices are to leave the gap or to disclose the termination. Especially if you fill out applications that require you to list ALL employers. And, even if you tell them you would prefer they not call this person, you are NOT able to stop them from calling, from talking to him, or to stop him from telling the truth.


What do I do? How do I protect myself from losing new employment opportunities?
You are going to need to find a way to spin the termination, as I am guessing there will not be a way to hide it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,024 posts, read 21,732,170 times
Reputation: 22201
Honesty? If you tell your potential employer what happened, hopefully they won't hold it against you. Will any of your coworkers be a good reference?
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,797 posts, read 13,284,781 times
Reputation: 15937
Hire a service to call him, determine what he says and notarize it. Then send him a lawyer's cease and desist letter saying that if he continues to slander and impede your job hunt you will sue. Almost all of the time they will back down as it is not worth the hassle to continue to slander you and deal with a lawsuit.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
553 posts, read 1,046,084 times
Reputation: 800
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
Hire a service to call him, determine what he says and notarize it. Then send him a lawyer's cease and desist letter saying that if he continues to slander and impede your job hunt you will sue. Almost all of the time they will back down as it is not worth the hassle to continue to slander you and deal with a lawsuit.
That is a high risk play. In many states, employers are protected against being sued for giving bad references. Some states even protect employers who defame former employees unless the former employee can show that the defamation was wilfull or malicious. In the context of defamation, showing a wilfull or malicious form of defamation is very difficult. If the former employee sends a lawyer-written cease and desist letter, the employer might very well show it to the employer's lawyer. Then the employer's lawyer explains how much protection the employer has, and the next thing you know, the gloves are truly off for the employer to give a negative reference. I would not take that chance.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
553 posts, read 1,046,084 times
Reputation: 800
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
Honesty? If you tell your potential employer what happened, hopefully they won't hold it against you. Will any of your coworkers be a good reference?
I agree. Not an easy way to go. But probably the best way to go. Good idea about getting co-worker references.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: California
4,402 posts, read 11,606,871 times
Reputation: 3129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
Hire a service to call him, determine what he says and notarize it. Then send him a lawyer's cease and desist letter saying that if he continues to slander and impede your job hunt you will sue. Almost all of the time they will back down as it is not worth the hassle to continue to slander you and deal with a lawsuit.
But telling the truth is NOT slander.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,797 posts, read 13,284,781 times
Reputation: 15937
In the end most businesses will blink and stop badmouthing you. In the end they gain nothing by continuing to give bad references but fending off a potential lawsuit costs them money and is a distraction. Best to just give title and dates of employment. Assuming they are a smart business they will back down. However, the 1099 stuff indicates these guys are bottom tier slimeballs and may not be smart. However, If they have an HR department even HR are smart enough to realize that giving bad references serves no one.

It is not a high risk play. You have nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is they continue badmouthing you which they would have done anyways.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:47 PM
 
44 posts, read 133,872 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
Hire a service to call him, determine what he says and notarize it. Then send him a lawyer's cease and desist letter saying that if he continues to slander and impede your job hunt you will sue. Almost all of the time they will back down as it is not worth the hassle to continue to slander you and deal with a lawsuit.

That is a GREAT idea. What companies do you know of that provide this service?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:49 PM
 
44 posts, read 133,872 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
In the end most businesses will blink and stop badmouthing you. In the end they gain nothing by continuing to give bad references but fending off a potential lawsuit costs them money and is a distraction. Best to just give title and dates of employment. Assuming they are a smart business they will back down. However, the 1099 stuff indicates these guys are bottom tier slimeballs and may not be smart. However, If they have an HR department even HR are smart enough to realize that giving bad references serves no one.

It is not a high risk play. You have nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is they continue badmouthing you which they would have done anyways.

the owner is a sole proprietor, and has very bad business ethics
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