What can I do about defamation of character by a previous employer?
Question Details: I received a job through an elementary school and was told in writing to put in my notice. A week later I was called and told they changed their mind based off of a reference from a previous employer who is legally not allowed to provide any information other than times of employment. I left the previous employer due to a hostile work environment and now they are affecting my career and future. At this point I am stuck and unsure what to do from here.
Defamation is only the provision or statement of factually untrue information. If the information they provided was factually true, even if negative, or was an expression of opinion (e.g. "he/she was a bad employee" or "was difficult" or "I would not hire them") or a value judgment, not a statment of fact, it was not defamation. Only untrue factual statements constitute defamation, and so can be sued over. There is no compensation for true fatual statements or opinions, even if harmful to you. If the statement was an untrue factual statement about you, however, then it likely would be defamation and you could sue.