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Is it illegal in Ontario Canada for an ex employer to give a bad reference?

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An employer is not obligated to provide any reference to a former employee. Therefore, you cannot
force your former employer to give you a reference.
¾ If you can prove that your former employer gave you an improper reference, and if you can prove
that you did not get a job because of it, you may be able to sue your former employer. (The legal
terms for this wrong include "defamation," "injurious falsehood," "negligence" or "negligent
¾ It is very difficult to prove both that the reference was improper, and that you would have got the
job if it were not for the bad reference. Even if you can prove that an improper reference was given,
you still have to prove that you would have landed the job except for the reference. New employers
will seldom, if ever, give you that information.
¾ The fact that an employer refused to provide a reference, or provided a bad one, may increase your
former employer's liability if you are suing your former employer for wrongful dismissal. The form of
a reference letter and what will be said when new employer contacts your former employer is often
negotiated as part of a wrongful dismissal settlement.
¾ Technically, the Consumer Reporting Act of Ontario prohibits prospective employers from seeking a
reference unless you have given permission in writing. Sometimes this permission is included in the
application for employment. Generally, employers are unaware of their obligations under this
¾ If you request it, the Consumer Reporting Act also requires an employer who does not hire you as a
result of a negative reference to inform you of the negative reference and what was said. However,
most employers are unaware of their obligations under the Consumer Reporting Act, and it is very
difficult to enforce this claim.

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Can your ex employer give you bad reference if they thing you did bad?

Check the laws, but most places, especially corperations, are wary of law suites, and will instruct supervisors and managers that the only thing they can really say is if you

Can legal action be taken against the employer that gives a bad reference?

The only things that a previous employer can say are #1- if you are re-hirable and #2 - what dates you were employed there. The problem is that in order to take legal action y

Can you sue former employers for giving bad references?

You cannot sue former employers simply for giving bad references.  However, you can sue them if they outright lie about major things,  for example claim that you were a thie