The answer to your question depends on what the former is saying about you and why they are saying it. It is unlawful to "blackball" a former employee but to be successful in such cases,you must be able t prove that the employer is proving prospective employers with false facts about you for the purpose of preventing you from becoming employed. You will need to review the specific facts with an experienced employment law attorney in order to obtain an information legal opinion and assess your rights and obligations.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
These are very tough cases. I assume that all of your instincts and info are correct. This really is what is happening. And it is despicable conduct. But how to prove?
Company 3 wants no part of this fight. They will never get cross-wise with Company 1 over you. They have been very careful in their records and documents. Company 1 has made no records or documents that evidence a concerted effort and plan against you. Black-balling almost always occurs informally and without tangible evidence. That is partly why it is so reprehensible and invidious.
Of course you should talk with a skilled and experienced litigator. Find one who won't hesitate to spend some serious $$$ in pre-lawsuit investigation. Perhaps some subterfuge inquiries can be set up to allow Company 1 to repeat its unlawful conduct, and that may be the key that unlocks some proof.
This will be hard, but with skilled legal assistance it may be successful. Your very next step is serious and specific consultation about your specific facts with a few really good lawyers in this field.
I wish you success.
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.
Mr. Kirschbaum and Ms. McCall have provided excellent guidance, with which I completely agree. Your best bet is to consult with one or more experienced employment law attorneys with whom you can discuss the details of your situation to see if you have a defamation claim or a claim for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. Also, there are companies you or an attorney can hire to try to find out exactly what your former employer is saying about you. Finally, an attorney may be able to negotiate a resolution without litigation.
To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org. Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
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