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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Can we fight this recent employment issue?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10534points) November 19th, 2013

My boyfriend had a job but was searching for something with more stable hours and higher pay. He found what seemed like a great job opportunity and was offered the job right in the interview. They told him after the background check and references were taken care of, he would be sent the new hire information via email. He received the paperwork a couple days later and started the job this past Monday. He quit his other job to take this job. It’s now Tuesday and he was just fired! The employer told him they called one of his past jobs and found out he wasn’t rehireable for that company (he quit the job without notice, nothing too terrible). Due to the fact that this current company works for his past job, they can’t offer him the job anymore. He was never told this. He was never asked if he was rehireable with that past job. So, he left a job to take this one, and now he has zero jobs. We have no idea what to do or if that was even legal. Why would a company call previous employers after they have hired an employee and they have started working there? Doesn’t that seem completely backwards? Obviously, if he had been told that the decision to hire him would be based on whether he was rehireable at a job he was at over 2 years ago, he wouldn’t have taken the job. Any advice? Family members have told us to get a lawyer but I’m not sure its legal and don’t have any money to spare on a lawyer if its not worth it.

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18 Answers

syz's avatar

You need to contact your state’s Employment Security Commission.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Until the employee makes probation, the employer can let them go for little to no reason,yes it sucks but that is life.
and when starting a job,don’t include any past employers on your reference list, you do not want your new employer to contact,add coworkers from that job instead.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I am not sure how it works where you are, and this information is probably not too helpful, but, where I live, it is illegal for a past employer to say anything bad about you. When other companies call, they are only legally allowed to let you know the employee is not liked, by what they don’t say.

In other words, they can’t say the employee was always late, but they can omit saying that they arrived on time. They can’t say you are a bad worker, but they can forget to say you where a good worker.

The worst reference possible being “Yes, I can confirm that person worked for us once, good bye”.

It could be worth investigating, if there are any such laws in your area, because things here are quite backwards and old fashion, so if we have it, they probably have it other places.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@poisonedantidote It is illegal to say anything bad but they only confirmed whether he was considered eligible for rehire, which he wasn’t. Based on that, they fired him.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Happens all the time, you can’t really do anything. And although it’s illegal employers talk shit about employees too. That’s why you want to do what @SQUEEKY2 said, unless you had a really good relationship with the employer, have a letter of reference, and know they’re going to say good things. I feel bad for you, hope he gets something soon that will be even better.

annabee's avatar

No, you cannot unless there is a contract or bargaining agreement, otherwise, employers are protected by labor laws, specifically by a term called “At-will employment” which means an employer can fire an employee without reason, without justification and without warning.

CWOTUS's avatar

The only recourse that I can see, and it’s a practical one, not a “legal” avenue, would be for him to petition the former employer – with as much grace as he can muster, because he will have to eat some crow if he’s going to make it happen – to change their opinion and pass that revision / correction onto the new folks. “Not eligible for rehire” is pretty harsh; it’s the kind of classification that one would give to a thief, abuser or other criminal or borderline-criminal employee, someone who would have been fired for cause. It’s completely understood that the former employer wouldn’t want to rehire him, and wouldn’t be about to rehire him, but to classify him as “ineligible for rehire” is… draconian, in terms of what it is doing to him now. (Alternatively, he may petition them to simply communicate these facts to the new employer, without changing their internal classification.)

If he asks nicely, they may just change their mind, communicate that to the prospective / new employer as a “revision or correction” and then he may re-address the prospective / new employer himself to “re-query the former employer regarding eligibility for rehire”.

It’s a long shot, but it’s the only likely resolution that I can see at this point. The upside to all of this should be several changes in his behavior: 1) At some point we have to realize that what our grade school teachers harped on about our “permanent record” really is a thing worthy of consideration and respect, and we should act accordingly (no more quick quits on jobs, for one thing), and 2) Whether successful in the attempt or not (and I give it less than 50–50 chances, to be honest here), he should learn some skills in negotiation, presentation and diplomacy here, that may serve him well in the long run.

Good luck to you.

johnpowell's avatar

You can’t do anything but start looking for a new job.

And for the record.. “he quit the job without notice, nothing too terrible” is actually pretty terrible.

It should have never been included in the references.

2davidc8's avatar

I learned many, many years ago, when I was just starting to work, that you should never quit without notice. It leaves a ton of resentment. It is actually a very bad thing to do, short of stealing from the company.

jca's avatar

@annabee: Even if he worked under a contract or bargaining agreement (as with a union, for example) there’s still usually a probationary period that the employee must pass. During that time, the language usually reads something like that the employee can be let go for any reason or no reason at all, until they pass probation.

johnpowell's avatar

@jca :: I worked at a movie theater in a at-will state. I saw a lot of people be fired but not really. Give them a hour a week until they quit. It is perfect, you don’t have to pay unemployment.

funkdaddy's avatar

Did he give notice at the job he just left?

They may not have filled his position yet, that job may still be available and he’s more qualified than someone new assuming they were happy with his work and he didn’t burn the bridge. Training someone new sucks and is a huge expense for employers.

It’s not ideal, but it’s a job.

annabee's avatar

@jca “there‚Äôs still usually a probationary period that the employee must pass”

Actually, from what I gathered, many employers got rid of the probationary period to avoid possible allegations of abuse. Instead, they perform several interviews under various conditions.

jca's avatar

@annabee: I work for local government (a huge employer in my County) and our contract has a probationary period. This is after the person went through whatever interviews they had to do, and the employee is hired. They have a one year period during which they can be dismissed (fired) for any reason or no reason at all. Once they “pass” probation, it’s a bit more of a process to get rid of them, involving charges, court, etc.

annabee's avatar

Key word “local government”

jca's avatar

@annabee: It’s a standard clause in employment contracts. If you can’t get through the little learning curve period, you’re out.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@johnpowell His department was closing so he had a short amount of time to find a job. He took the first decent one he found. I don’t think it’s too terrible that he didn’t give notice when the department was shutting down anyway. But I agree, in a normal situation it’s never a good idea to quit without notice.

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