#AskSam Sam,what do I do if I am blackballed by my current employer?


Question: What do I do if I am blackballed by my current employer?

Blackballing usually is a term applied to someone whose former employer has spread the word to other potential employers not to hire her or him. Here are some steps you can take if you think you are in a situation like that:

Check with employers: Some employers will offer feedback regarding their decision not to hire you. If you suspect a previous boss is giving you a bad reference, ask employers if your last supervisor’s opinion played a role in their decision to turn you down.

Hire professional help: You can hire a professional reference-checking service to contact your references and prior employers and determine if they’re giving you a negative review. You will know if the blackballing has happened and why, if you need to make amends.

Speak to your former company: If you have a working relationship with HR or the person or unit who arranges for personnel actions in your former company, consider talking to them about the situation and your hopes for a fair opportunity. You can also go straight to the source. Your boss might not tell you the truth if you contact him directly. However, he might provide clues that he gave an unfavorable review. The key to approaching your boss is to avoid getting emotional or accusatory. Instead, calmly tell him you’ve had a hard time landing a job and would like to know what he’s telling prospective employers who contact him.

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