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DQ'd for bad/false employer reference - thoughts & advice much appreciated!

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  • DQ'd for bad/false employer reference - thoughts & advice much appreciated!

    After going back to school and getting my required credits (with a 3.78 GPA in LE), I started the recruitment process all over again. I quickly made it to the eligibility list in two departments, one of which had immediate openings. I met with the Chief and Mayor, made it past that, drug test and psych passed with no problems. During the completion of my BI, an employer that I worked for 7 years ago badmouthed me.

    The short story is this: I was carrying my first child during my employment with her. I was put on bedrest due to stress from work and an incompetent cervix (apologies for TMI...but it's needed for context). She became belligerent because I had to leave immediately instead of giving two weeks' notice. I offered to help her from home, and over the next month she called night and day berating me for various things around the office that I had no control over. In the end I had to tell her that I could not help her any longer. The next day, my water broke, I gave birth to my son, and he died. Two days later, I received a letter from her stating that my position was terminated. She told the DLT that I was laid off for lack of work and I collected unemployment after my TDI ended.

    Fast forward seven years...She told the PD I was being considered for that I was fired for stealing. This is a blatant lie, and I'm not sure what to do next. I was DQ'd based on what she told the BI, however, the Chief and the Captain who discussed the DQ with me were adamant that I keep trying at other departments and do not give up. What can I do to stop this woman from lying about me? I have consulted a lawyer and have a meeting with him tomorrow, but I also know that litigious (sp?) behavior is not looked upon kindly by hiring departments. Any advice is appreciated.

    TM

  • #2
    Get an atty and sue her and the company she works for. I am very sorry for your loss.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Joe. Your BI doesn't sound like he did a very good job if he just took her statement at face values without letting you explain the situation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sue her for what? Her side of the story? WTF is with suing everyone?
        Free Deke O'Mally!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
          I agree with Joe. Your BI doesn't sound like he did a very good job if he just took her statement at face values without letting you explain the situation.
          That's what really bothers me about the whole situation - I didn't realize that someone could say something like that, with no basis or back-up, and BAM, DQ. Not only that, it would have taken a simple call to DLT to find out that that is NOT why I was no longer working there. The question (in my opinion) that the BI should have asked himself was, "Either she's lying to me or she lied to DLT...which is it?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Assuming you applied with a civil service department, there should be another option.

            Retain an attorney with civil service experience and file an appeal of your DQ with the city's civil service commission. This should result in a hearing in which the department will have to substantiate its grounds for DQ. This will include calling in your previous supervisor and having her testify under oath as to why your employment ended. Your attorney will have the right to cross examine her. He will also have subpoena power and (assuming they still exist) should be able to secure copies of your work records with the old employer and your unemployment records, clearing things up..

            If your work records and unemployment records confirm your story, your supervisor will be faced with a dilemma. She will have to admit to either lying to the BI or falsifying public records (the unemployment papers). Lying to the BI is probably not a crime. Falsifying public records is usually a felony in most states. Which one do you think she will cop to?
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              Sue her for what? Are you serious? Because she lied to the BI, defamed your character, said you had discipline you didn't have and she cost you a job. That's why. If someone on our dept. did that (sworn or unsworn) they would be terminated.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=L-1;2438501]Assuming you applied with a civil service department, there should be another option.

                Unfortunately, this is not a civil service state...I am seeing an attny this morning and will know a little more about my options shortly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by District B 13 View Post
                  Sue her for what? Her side of the story? WTF is with suing everyone?
                  Just because there are a lot of frivilous lawsuits out there doesn't mean there aren't valid ones, and certainly doesn't mean that if someone intentionally lied to a background investigator (and that this could be proven somehow) to cost them a job that it wouldn't be grounds for a legitimate suit.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kimble View Post
                    Just because there are a lot of frivilous lawsuits out there doesn't mean there aren't valid ones, and certainly doesn't mean that if someone intentionally lied to a background investigator (and that this could be proven somehow) to cost them a job that it wouldn't be grounds for a legitimate suit.
                    +1

                    DB13,
                    Clearly, her BI DQ'd her because of what her boss said. If Tripletmama can take her boss to court, a judge can assess the situation, and, logically, find out that her boss lied to the BI, costing tripletmama a potential job. Therefore, other agencies tripletmama applies to cannot DQ her based on what that employer will say because a judge has ruled that her boss is a liar.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Update

                      So, spoke with an attorney this morning. He is going to start by sending her a letter stating the facts - the dates of employment, the official (layoff) and unofficial (medical leave) reasons for separation, pointing out the fact that not only did she allow me to collect unemployment, she continued to verify it for the 14 weeks that I collected, and that in the seven years since, there has been no accusation or any indication that I had ever done anything that she suggested I had done. He will also request my employee file from my time there to show that I had never been written up or disciplined in any way. Also in the letter will (obviously) be a request that she immediately cease making such statements to anyone who may call in regards to my time there.

                      I am going to continue applying to other departments - I dropped off another app yesterday on my way out of my meeting with the Chief - and try to "get in front of" this situation in my next background packet by explaining why I left that job and that I am aware that this employer has given me a bad reference.

                      Hopefully she will not do it again - but if she does, a suit will be filed. I am hesitant to file suit myself - I have a real distaste for the "sue everybody" mentality, but what's been done here is clearly wrong. Not only that, no employer, especially one where liability is a major issue, wants to hire someone with a history of suing former employers.

                      Thank you everyone for your thoughts!
                      TM

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good deal,

                        I was screwed at an agency a long while back, I worked there briefly before they royally screwed me and I later found out the Chief was blackballing me, even after he told me I'd "make a fine police officer somewhere else." In that instance, I had a background investigator actually tell me (they normally won't divulge that info)what it was the Chief said about me and it was completely slanderous and had no bearing on why I was forced to leave. I called the Chief up, knowing that LE has a lot more leeway during Backgrounds than a private company, and threatened him with a lawsuit. Amazingly, I got hired by another agency a short while later, I even found out that one of the supervisor's I worked for asked the Interviewer what he could legally say about me as I assume the Chief got scared and went down the line in regards to sharing info about me.

                        Of course there are plenty of frivolous lawsuits but as stated above, there are valid reasons to at least threaten one, not necessarily follow through. Unfortunately, not everyone has been in the unique situation of having someone with a vendetta intentionally try to screw you out of a career because they didn't like you when you worked with them. The only thing you can do is fight and LE can be an unforgiving career should they choose to blackball you based on false information they accepted as true which may affect your employability.
                        Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another School of Thought

                          Originally posted by TripletMama View Post
                          So, spoke with an attorney this morning. He is going to start by sending her a letter stating the facts - the dates of employment, the official (layoff) and unofficial (medical leave) reasons for separation, pointing out the fact that not only did she allow me to collect unemployment, she continued to verify it for the 14 weeks that I collected, and that in the seven years since, there has been no accusation or any indication that I had ever done anything that she suggested I had done. He will also request my employee file from my time there to show that I had never been written up or disciplined in any way. Also in the letter will (obviously) be a request that she immediately cease making such statements to anyone who may call in regards to my time there.

                          I am going to continue applying to other departments - I dropped off another app yesterday on my way out of my meeting with the Chief - and try to "get in front of" this situation in my next background packet by explaining why I left that job and that I am aware that this employer has given me a bad reference.

                          Hopefully she will not do it again - but if she does, a suit will be filed. I am hesitant to file suit myself - I have a real distaste for the "sue everybody" mentality, but what's been done here is clearly wrong. Not only that, no employer, especially one where liability is a major issue, wants to hire someone with a history of suing former employers.

                          Thank you everyone for your thoughts!
                          TM
                          As a former BI, I would suggest that this is insufficient. Here is my logic.

                          You have gone to the trouble of retaining counsel. But, your attorney has not contacted the police department on your behalf, explained the situation and asked them to reinvestigate the matter, nor has he sued your former supervisor for defamation of character and the resulting financial loss when her statement cost you a job with the PD. If you applied with another department and I was doing your background, I would ask myself why you failed to do this and the most logical conclusion might be that it was because your claims of innocence may not stand up under scrutiny.

                          Combined with the fact that your attorney is merely threatening your former supervisor with legal action if she continues to tell people you are a thief, I would suspect that her allegations may be true and that you and your attorney are merely bullying her into keeping quiet.

                          The fact that you and your attorney took no action to vindicate yourself with the current PD suggests a tacit acknowledgement of guilt. Sometimes decisions on backgrounds can be borderline and when it comes to making that final decision, one way or another, little things like this can often be the deciding factor.

                          You and your attorney may wish to reconsider your strategy.
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                            The fact that you and your attorney took no action to vindicate yourself with the current PD suggests a tacit acknowledgement of guilt. Sometimes decisions on backgrounds can be borderline and when it comes to making that final decision, one way or another, little things like this can often be the deciding factor.

                            You and your attorney may wish to reconsider your strategy.
                            I was under the impression that the "You're Hired" ship has sailed at the PD in question, and that running back to them with an attorney would only make me look bad in my future applications. So I'm supposed to have my attorney contact the PD that just rejected me and **** them off with talk of litigation???

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TripletMama View Post
                              I was under the impression that the "You're Hired" ship has sailed at the PD in question, and that running back to them with an attorney would only make me look bad in my future applications. So I'm supposed to have my attorney contact the PD that just rejected me and **** them off with talk of litigation???
                              First off, I said nothing about litigation with the PD. I simply mentioned having your attorney write a letter explaining the situation and asking them to reinvestigate. Appealing the DQ (if an appeal process is available) would also be appropriate. However, suing your previous supervisor and employer would be in order.

                              Usually when someone goes to the time and expense of retaining counsel and having them write a polite letter to the government agency seeking a reinvestigation, it signifies that they are not a run of the mill dirtbag applicant. It also suggests that they would not go to that much trouble and expense unless they are telling the truth. My agency never had a problem giving things a second look when asked under those circumstances. Believe it or not, the police tend to be honorable people. If we mess up, we usually try to make it right when asked

                              If someone appealed a DQ and my agency lost, their name went back on the hiring list. If we expect people to play by the rules, we have to do the same ourselves.

                              FWIW, if you are not the kind of person who can admit it when you make a mistake and correct things, or your ego gets in the way and you get pi*sed if someone calls you on a mistake, or this is how you perceive law enforcement to be, perhaps you should not go into this profession. Granted, we do have few people like that in law enforcement and they have no business on the job.
                              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                              Comment

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