Unfortunately, if her statements are true she can do that.
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Mr. Harkess is definitely correct. It is not defamation of character or libel if the statements your former manager is making are true. Is it totally lacking in all sense of class and mean-spirited - definitely yes. However, that seems to be the way our society is moving. People go out of their way in order to try to put down others in order to make them feel better than themselves. Unfortunately, we are not practicing what we were supposedly taught by our grandparents and our teacher - if you don't have anything nice to say, simply don't say it.
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While it is completely unnecessary for her to do that, doing it does not make it illegal. Assuming you did have a good relationship with her, call her up and ask her to refrain from spreading unnecessary gossip and to stick to telling people how you worked when you worked there. If you have a written review supply that to the potential employer and they just skip the telephone call. If you had a written review but do no have a copy, obtain one. If the criminal really did work out okay, consider explaining that to her as well.
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