Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.
That being said, in order to sue, you'd have to prove exactly what was said, and to who, and show how those statements caused your lack of work. Some states provide a limited privilege to employers to defame employees in references; depending on the state the statements were made in or were heard in (by phone or email if remotely), the privilege may apply.
You may have a claim against the individual as well as the company; in fact, the claim against the individual may be easier to prove. If so, you have a limited time in which to bring the claim; again, depending on the state, it could be as little as one year from the date of the defamation.
It is likely that it is not practical or cost-effective for you to bring a claim; you may find your time better spent looking for work through another agency.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.
/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004