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I know that Blacklisting is illegal in WA. How can I find out if an employer has Blacklisted me and how do I get them to stop?

Everett, WA |

6 months ago I interviewed with a company. I was offered the job, but was offered rock-bottom pay despite my having years more experience than co-workers who were offered higher salaries. I e-mailed a few times with the recruiter trying to negotiate a higher wage. The recruiter then informed me that the offer had been rescinded. I made a last-ditch effort to retain my job, and the recruiter rudely replied that her decision had been made. I then made the poor decision to reply and say it was a bad business practice to offer employees such insulting wages.
Ever since then, I haven't received a single call on my resume from ANY company. I have NEVER had problems receiving calls before. Even internal referrals go ignored now. I'm convinced that company/recruiter is the reason why.

Even in the bad economy, I have ALWAYS received calls for interviews. I work in Healthcare and there are always openings. Now I get no responses at all, even for jobs I'm completely overqualified for. After doing some research, it does appear that even though Blacklisting is illegal, it's not uncommon. There is definitely something going on here.. please help!!

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Proof is always a problem in "negative reference" situations. A prior writer has suggested using a "reference check" company which is actually a very common suggestion I make when faced with these types of issues. Might I suggest that you not limit your inquiry to just that one issue but that if you do hire a reference check company that you invest in one that has you execute authorizations for release of information just as many employers require of candidates so you can learn a little more about who is saying what before you submit your next set of applications. As proof is your issue this is more of a "private investigator" type of a question right now and you may want to search websites similar to this one for private investigators for better answers and ideas. Good luck.


  2. Difficult situation, and not one that lends itself to a legal solution. You do not presently have a lawsuit or claim against anyone based on the facts you have summarized here.

    But there may be some productive efforts to be made. There are firms that will, for a fee, conduct "reference checks" to determine whether a former employer is causing employment problems. There may be a variation of such services that could be applied to your circumstances in order to determine whether your suspicion's are correct. Use the internet to locate reputable and professional firm and discuss customizing the service for your needs.

    Unless your final email was truly abusive and intemperate, it seems unlikely that your suspicions are correct. The provocation you cite is too modest for all this retaliatory activity, in my view.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. I agree with Ms. McCall. First, to blacklist somebody would require that the company recruiter devote incredible resources to you, and I'm guessing that s/he has enough other work to make that difficult. Second, you probably would not list this company that did not hire you on your own documents. It seems more likely that there is something in your cover letter, your resume, or your telephone demeanor that is distancing you from opportunity. It may be time to hire a professional headhunter or career specialist to give you an appraisal of how your entire employment package is presented. In fact, for people who sincerely believe that there is some former employer that is giving very poor references when potential employers call, there is also very little concrete relief. A Washington statute provides immunity to former employers for honest assessments and opinions during reference checks. It would be best to focus on the one thing that you can contol -- your own resume, cover letter, and interview skills package.

    Without knowing all of the details, reviewing documents, and interviewing witnesses, no person should assume that this Answer constitutes specific legal advice for any specific legal situation. No attorney-client relationship is created by posting general legal responses on this site.

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