How to handle an ex-employer that lies...

This is a discussion on How to handle an ex-employer that lies... within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Well, I suspected for a while and now I have proof that my former employer is mischaracterizing my work performance. ...

  1. #1
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    How to handle an ex-employer that lies...

    Well, I suspected for a while and now I have proof that my former employer is mischaracterizing my work performance. Obviously the first thing to do is remove him from my resume, but has anyone else had this problem before, and how did you explain the gap in employment?
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Spend a free 30 minutes with a lawyer.

    Because what they're doing is illegal.
    http://www.writing-world.com/rights/libel.shtml
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    I've read an article on this lately. The article was about how to talk of past jobs where you had bad relations with your boss. If the case applies, try to refer another superior at the same job. For example, the department director or the director of human ressources.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Depends what the ex-boss said. Anybody's evaluation of somebody else's performance is going to be subjective at best. Just saying something like "His performance sucked" is unlikely to be libel I think, just a negative opinion.

    I'd probably still list the job on my resume but not give contacts unless specifically asked. And if asked, I'd explain that I don't believe that person gives a realistic view of my experience. It might lose a couple of interviews but if it is what it is, why hide it?
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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Yes, unfortunately my direct supervisor was the CEO, it was a small company, only half a dozen employees. I worked there for about a year and a half on a application that analyzes raw video to detect various forms of cheating at roulette in real time. He blames me because the application could only detect 5 out of 6 forms of cheating, which is 5 more than it could before I worked on it. But that isnt what he is telling potential employers.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-25-2008 at 06:24 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    He should only be able to tell others whether you can work there again or not. Anything else, under U.S law anyways, is illegal.

    Just in case there is a statute of limitations in this matter I would see an attorney immediately. Keep in mind you will need hard evidence to prove this is occurring. But if proven this can be a very serious offense for a company (in the U.S).

  7. #7
    and the hat of sweating
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    How do you get hard evidence if it's also illegal to record a conversation without consent?
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I would say legal evidence might fall in the realm of information from an employer that was looking to hire you. They have nothing to gain by telling you and also nothing to lose if the comapny is not in any way related to the one violating the law.

    I'm not a lawyer, however, which is why I recommend presenting the issue to one in a free counsel session. If the lawyer feels it is a valid case then he/she will take it on else they may give other legal advice and/or directions to go with the case. This definitely needs professional attention and and I don't think any of us here are qualified in this field.

    We see this all the time in the court system. Certain types of cases are nearly impossible to prove, however, approaching the case from a different direction can yield good results.

    A really bad example would be a divorce due to infidelity. Infidelity is so hard to prove even with hard evidence that most family law firms won't even attempt it. However they know full well they can definitely win a case with 'irreconcilable differences' or 'mental cruelty'. Mental cruelty pretty much comes down to if you have ever argued or said something bad about your significant other. This could mean the difference between thousands of dollars in alimony or none at all.

    So just because one side of a case is nearly impossible to prove doesn't mean it's various angles are as well. I am not qualified in this field but a lawyer who is would know the various angles of this particular situation. The final question I guess would be how much money abachler is willing to put up to fight this and if the end result is worth it.

    A simpler solution would be to alter the existing resume which reflects the new informationa attained through this. I would certainly use them as a reference but perhaps one that should not be contacted or needs to be discussed. There are always legal avenues but most of them are quite costly which is why most don't pursue legal action. How can you sue a company when you don't have a job? I'm sure hundreds of thousands of legit cases are not pursued simply due to financial reasons.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 12-25-2008 at 11:12 AM.

  9. #9
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjust View Post
    How do you get hard evidence if it's also illegal to record a conversation without consent?
    It's not illegal to record a conversation without consent if you believe a crime is occuring. I believe this would fall under that clause. That is, if he is breaking the law with his speech, then he is not entitled to fore-warning that it is being recorded. I'm pretty sure Ill be discussing this with my lawyer after the holidays.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-25-2008 at 08:37 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    But such an action would require a warrent from the court. But as long as one party in the conversation consents than it is legal even if the other parties are unaware.

  11. #11
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Which means as long as my PI consents to recording it, we don't need a warrant.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  12. #12
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Only if your PI is in the conversation. No one can go recording other's telephone conversations just because they suspect a crime is being committed. Of course the easiest thing is to have a PI pose as a perspective employer that is calling for a reference. Then you can record all you want.

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    Here is some intereting info on federal/state law concerning the recording of phone conversations. It would probably be in your best interests to consult an attorney before doing anything.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Well, I suspected for a while and now I have proof that my former employer is mischaracterizing my work performance. Obviously the first thing to do is remove him from my resume, but has anyone else had this problem before, and how did you explain the gap in employment?
    I realised the stress in doing anything about it was more than it was worth and that mud sticks in a small industry. Getting a reputation for being hard to work with is just as damaging as poor coding.

    I contacted one of the other staff (with a snr title) I was freindly with, expained the situation (as tactfully as I could) and asked them to be my contact. I got a non work number from them and gave that as required.
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  15. #15
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    I agree with novacain. Why waste time and money against something that cannot be guaranteed?. IMHO,if i were you, i would just remove the guy from my resume and leave it at that.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
    - Albert Einstein.


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