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Is there a way to find out what my former employer may be saying?

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What is the name of your state? KANSAS

I was terminated about 6 weeks ago. I have been applying for employment and am getting no where. I am afraid it could have to do with what my former employer is saying. I have heard so many things about what they can and cannot say in fear of being sued. I would like to know what type of things they are saying. Is there any way to find out? Thanks!


You could call and ask, or try and fake it by having a friend or relative pose as a perspective employer doing a referance check. Of course if it's figured out it wouldn't do you any good to look like a goof.

As far as employment law goes, they can share what they wish as long as it's a true statement. If it was because of a failed drug test, they can share that, if it was missing to many days, that's okay too.


Senior Member
And why do you think it's because of what your prior employer is saying about you? Any reason in particular?

Unfortunately, 6 weeks is not necessarily a long time to be between jobs, especially in this market and depending upon what position level you are looking for.


I'm a Northern Girl
Here's a good rule of thumb to tell if there's a problem with what your employer is saying.

If you are not getting any calls for interviews, it is virtually certain that your former employer has nothing to do with it. Despite what many people appear to believe, NO employer contacts previous employers prior to deciding who to interview. No one has the time or the resources to do that. Nor is there any reason to believe that your employer is somehow finding out where you are applying and calling to sabotage your employment, as other people evidently appear to believe - first, in 25 years I have NEVER had an employer call me to do that and neither has any other HR person I know, and second, if ever one did call to tell me you would be applying to me and I shouldn't hire you, you'd be the FIRST one I'd call to set up an interview with, if only to find out what the heck was behind that most unusual phone call.

If you are being called for interviews, the interviews go well, they tell you that you are a prime candidate and they'll be checking your references, and then you don't get an offer AND this happens multiple times, then MAYBE you have a problem with your references. Not definitely, because few employers only check references on only one candidate. Personally I check them on my top three, so two of the three aren't going to get the job anyway. (Some do only check one, but it's less common.) So the odds are that you won't get probably at least two out of three jobs even when you do get your references checked. But MAYBE in this case there's a problem.

Patty is right that six weeks is not nearly enough, in the current market, to assume there's a problem in any case.


KS. I do understand what you are saying and I do agree with you than an employer does not have that kind of time to call all references. My situation is that I have applied at several temp. agencies and havent got anything yet. I do know for a fact that a couple of them have contacted former employers. That is why I am thinking it might be my last employer. I don't feel like I can call and ask them because they sure aren't going to tell me what they say. I know it has not been that long but I am going crazy if I dont have any interviews or anything. Also, I was told by someone, someone I will have to report back to in a little less than 2 weeks. I was told to go out and get one interview a day, even if it isnt what I want, just to get the practice. I would not mind doing that at all, but, how do you do that? I have filled out apps and sent resumes but noone calls. How do I go about getting an interview. I dont know of any place you can just walk into, ask for an app and then an interview. Any suggestions?


Junior Member
I recently posted on this site about a similar situation. I would like to share what worked for me. Hopefully it might help you.

1. I paid a professional agency to have a reference check done on me.
2. I told my previous employers that I was job hunting and made them aware that there might be numerous calls. I didn’t want to disrupt their time.
3. I asked pertinent questions:
a. Who should be the point of contact and can I use them as a reference?
b. What kind of reference would they give me? Some give only dates/titles, while others are more detailed.
c. Would it be a problem if I ask fellow employees to be a reference as well?
d. When/Where to contact? Morning/Afternoon. Home/Work.
e. How they handle incoming reference checks. Written Request/Telephone.
4. I put together a portfolio showing samples of the work that I did at every job I had for the past ten years: spreadsheets, maps, documents, etc. I included the reference checks, all awards/certificates, and letters of recommendation.
5. Only one of the employment agencies that I went to suggested ways to update my resume to make it look more organized and polished. (This is a lifesaving suggestion--the first impression that an employer will get about you)
6. I kept things with everyone on a positive note. I took the first step and apologized for my part in whatever may have happened in the past. I then thanked everyone for their help. I want the last thing on everyone's mind about me to be a positive thought.
7. I thanked God ahead of time for strength and for helping me find the right job.

All of the above was extremely helpful during my interviews. I found my second job within a month and my third job within two months.

FYI, I got three jobs in the past using agencies. It depends on the number of jobs that they have available. They have to match your particular skill/education with what that employer is looking for. And, don’t forget about all the other people you have to compete with who have the same (or better) skills/education than you do.

Things may look dark and dreary now, but they WILL get better for you.

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