Referral for new employer from old employer
Fired from employer due to findings of theft of R320 000 but this amount was never mentioned to the employee and the employee was never charged of this theft. Employee claimed UIF even whilst the said employer had a suspicion of theft and employee was able to claim their pension bar approximately R80 000 the employer demanded as payment toward proof of theft. Employer went through hearing and eventually after sitting trying to argue their case, got up and to avoid any further screaming and belittling, plead guilty and removed themself from the room. For 4 years the employee has been trying to find work and has subsequently found out that when a prospective employer calls the previous employer, the PA to the one Director has said that her line manager has nothing positive to say about the employee and on a different day the HR Director has told the Employment Agent has been told that the employee was fired because it was found that over a period of years the emploee had financial problems and because of this, the employee was stealing. I would like to find out if it is legal for a previous employer to give such a negative reference for anyone who calls in for a reference on one of their former employees? Are the employers allowed to divulge their findings of theft even though the employee has never formally been charged, managed to get a pension payout and claim UIF? This employee has not been able to find employment after working for their former employer for 12 years, yet the employer gives very bad references and findings of a forensic investigation charge that has never been relayed to the employee.
Previous employers can give references to prospective employers, but open themselves to a suit for defamation of character if they can’t prove their negative references. In this case I will advice that you should get a lawyer to send them a letter warning them of the consequences of speaking ill about you without proof. Damages may include job opportunities you may have lost due to their actions.