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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.

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