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Old 08-07-2014, 08:39 PM
 
237 posts, read 554,057 times
Reputation: 275

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Hi all . . .

I was let go from my job at the end of July. I won't get into all the gory details . . . however my manager (above my supervisor who fired me, but below HR) left me a note and also sent me an email stating to use him as a reference and he would help me in any way he could.

Well, today I went to a staffing agency to find temp or temp-to-hire work. I listed my ex-manager as a reference and she called him. THEN she called me to report that - he had told her that I was absent a lot due to medical appointments caused by a horrific car accident in November. Of course, she asked me a million questions - was I done doctoring? how serious was the accident? and on and on.

I was just shell shocked and frankly, upset that he would reveal such a personal thing. Shouldn't this fall under privacy/HIPAA confidential info? I think he may well have cost me the temp job(s) because she completely changed her tune from earlier, even though I did indicate that yes, I was done doctoring and yes, it was a serious car accident (fatal accident).

Obviously, I know not to use him anymore but just today - he has emailed me a couple of job openings and told me that he thought my going to a temp agency was a great thing. Seriously, part of me wants to blast back at him, but I know better.

I never imagined he would say anything about my medical absences or the car accident. It's past history and quite irrelevant at this point.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:42 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 8,829,979 times
Reputation: 6514
I do not think it was illegal, not unless the accident occurred in a company vehicle. If whatever he says is true then it's legal. Look up libel and slander laws. If they lied about what they said to a prospective employer then yes, it could very well be illegal.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:48 PM
 
154 posts, read 235,822 times
Reputation: 328
It sounds like this reference really has good intentions deep down and it's possible that when asked why you left, he explained and tried to exonerate you by indicating that you were absent due to serious problems rather than playing hooky. He could really think that wouldn't count against you, or that it would be less negative than anything else he could say to explain why you were let go. I mean, realistically, what else is he going to say? He could leave the accident/medical stuff out of his reference and just say you were let go due to excessive absences. He could refuse to answer any questions beyond whether or not you are eligible for rehire (I'm assuming that response would be a "no" because you were terminated, so again, not great). He could refuse to verify anything other than dates of employment.

Maybe you could ask him for a letter of reference that addresses your work ethic, professionalism, achievements, etc., so that you can hand that to prospective employers who request a reference. But if he addresses the reason for your termination in the letter, you may be no better off.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:56 PM
 
237 posts, read 554,057 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ7 View Post
I do not think it was illegal, not unless the accident occurred in a company vehicle. If whatever he says is true then it's legal. Look up libel and slander laws. If they lied about what they said to a prospective employer then yes, it could very well be illegal.
No, the accident occurred in my own personal car while I was out running errands, 2 days before I was to start my new job. (I did start on time, by the way, albeit on a walker, in a cast, etc.)
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:57 PM
 
237 posts, read 554,057 times
Reputation: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsfanboston View Post
It sounds like this reference really has good intentions deep down and it's possible that when asked why you left, he explained and tried to exonerate you by indicating that you were absent due to serious problems rather than playing hooky. He could really think that wouldn't count against you, or that it would be less negative than anything else he could say to explain why you were let go. I mean, realistically, what else is he going to say? He could leave the accident/medical stuff out of his reference and just say you were let go due to excessive absences. He could refuse to answer any questions beyond whether or not you are eligible for rehire (I'm assuming that response would be a "no" because you were terminated, so again, not great). He could refuse to verify anything other than dates of employment.

Maybe you could ask him for a letter of reference that addresses your work ethic, professionalism, achievements, etc., so that you can hand that to prospective employers who request a reference. But if he addresses the reason for your termination in the letter, you may be no better off.
Thanks, I do see what you're saying.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
30,858 posts, read 56,261,586 times
Reputation: 32853
Seems like a mean stab in the back but not illegal as long as it was all true. I agree with patsfan, call him and ask if he would be willing to give you letter, and you could choose to use it or not depending on what you get.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,175 posts, read 7,483,987 times
Reputation: 4593
I think it was an honest mistake. Since he has initiated additional contact, I would relay the details of the conversation with the temp agent and try to direct what kind of reference you might want from him in the future, not burn the bridge.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:43 PM
 
2,064 posts, read 3,776,275 times
Reputation: 1458
Your ex-manager sounds like he's just being honest. I would not expect him to lie or even leave out information. However, if you don't want prospective employers to hear what he said, I would not use him as a reference.

And please, be on time when you find a new job (assuming you weren't able to go back to the old job) this time around...yeah I know, dead horse beaten.

good luck.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Huntsville
5,447 posts, read 4,275,120 times
Reputation: 6226
As long as what he says is factual, it's not illegal. There are no laws that prohibit an ex-employer from explaining your employment as long as it's true. If he said something like "Employee XX had a history of sleeping on the job, etc.." and that was untrue and you can prove it, you would have a case against them.

It sounds like he had your best interest at heart, but he can't lie. If he's willing to help out, see if he will give you a reference letter on company letterhead that discusses how you performed your job duties. If he does this, the future employer is less likely to call them since what they need to know is on paper in front of them.

The temp agency may want to ensure you are going to be available for their clients when needed so they're going to want to know if you plan on missing a lot of work. They also may want to verify that you don't have any sort of medical conditions that will prohibit you from performing specific job functions. I would still talk with the temp agency and clear the air. They're likely still willing to work with you.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:21 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,367,615 times
Reputation: 6519
What has most likely happened is that your former employer offered a standard reference but did not lie when she questioned further. Considering she asked you a bunch of questions in detail about the incident(s), I assume she did the same for him.
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