Medal of Honor Winner Brings Suit in San Antonio for Defamation by Employer

Patrick Danner of the Express News is covering this story involving a Medal of Honor winner who has brought suit against his former employer, alleging the employer defamed him and interfered with his ability to seek gainful employment.


A lawsuit brought by a U.S. Marine awarded the Medal of Honor against his former employer underscores the treacherous ground companies must navigate if they reveal too much about the circumstances surrounding an ex-employee's employment or termination.


Lawyers generally advise companies to say very little about ex-employees, otherwise those companies risk getting ensnared in costly and time-consuming litigation.


“In a lot of cases, saying something like (why someone was a bad employee) might be legal and you might be able to beat the rap, but you can't beat the ride. You could still get sued,” said Chris McKinney, a San Antonio lawyer who primarily represents individuals in employment disputes.


As the article details, proving that an employer is black-balling an employee by giving out false and defamatory information about you can be extremely difficult.  Before you call a lawyer, however, keep in mind that it is perfectly legal for an employer to say not nice things about you to a prospective employer . . . as long as the statements are fact-based and TRUE.  

There are third-party providers who can attempt to check what type of references you are getting (a lawyer cannot do this for you).  These usually run between $100-$200 and can give you some piece of mind if you are concerned what type of reference you might get from your last boss.  

If you have a serious indication that your past employer is making false, defamatory statements about you that are harming your ability to get hired, then you definitely should consult with an employment lawyer.  There may be steps short of litigation that will resolve the issue.    

Read the entire story.