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What can a former employer say to a prospective employer?

Los Angeles, CA |

I worked for a company (I'll call HI) for 3 years. I left when I had to go to jail for a Fraud I did 5 years earlier, involving another company. HI did a background check on me before hiring me and due to the fact that I had not been arrested, nor convicted I was offered the job. I was never in trouble with HI during my employment (no write ups), I did my work, and was given excellent evaluations. No fraud at HI took place (ALL of my work was backed up with mounds of paperwork to prove it was on the level). I was given bad advise by a prison consultant to inform HI of the conviction and I think they are telling potential employers. He thought it would help in the long run if I came out honest.
How do I find out what HI might be saying about me?
Can I make them tell me what they are saying?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

Your former employer HI can says anything that is truthful regarding your work experience. Generally speaking, you won't be able to find out what HI might be saying about you, and no, you cannot compel them tell you what they are saying. However, in some instances, for a fee, you can hire a professional reference checking service that obtain the same type of information which a potential employer checking references would obtain during the hiring process.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

My view is that the former employer is not bound by any subject matter limitations, i.e., "regarding your work experience."

David Andrew Mallen

David Andrew Mallen

Posted

I agree with Mr. Chen that hiring an outside company to get a "reference check" and take careful note of the tone as well as the content is something that may offer value to the Asker. A Google search will disclose a few services that are less than $100.00.

David Andrew Mallen

David Andrew Mallen

Posted

I agree with Ms. McCall that the employer can say anything he wants that is truthful. However, the employer's own employee handbook may have an implied policy that he will only give dates of employment and positions held.

Posted

Your criminal conviction is a matter of public record, not confidential or private, and can be told to anyone by anyone, including your former employer.

Practically speaking, you will not be in a position to press a civil claim that requires findings of fact based on your testimony for some time. Your felony fraud conviction is potential impeachment evidence, presumptively admissible in all courts on any issues of your credibility. Assuming that you were contemplating civil claims against your former employer with the assistance of counsel working on contingency, it is unlikely that you can make that kind of arrangement for counsel or succeed in that kind of legal claim.

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.

Posted

This is a personal note of encouragement, not legal advice. Some employers are OK with hiring employees with criminal convictions who have paid their debt to society and made the most of a second chance.

I am inspired by people who have overcome personal hardship and mistakes, and I would not hesitate to hire people who take pride in their work and are good at their job regardless of criminal convictions.

What story will you tell about your life? Can you share a story that inspires people and makes others want to work with you?

I think you are wise to inquire about your legal rights and practical solutions. I humbly submit that the solutions you seek are personal, not legal.

All the best,

David Mallen

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Wisdom way beyond professional skills, experience, and training!

Posted

To start with, the advice is good advice to the conviction. It may cause some opportunities to dissolve but you don't want it hanging over your head later as a possible reason to be terminated. There is nothing to stop you from contacting HI directly. Ask if there's something you can add to the knowledge of the facts. In this way you can show you are engaged and ready to to address any concerns,

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