New Jersey Employee Rights laws protect individuals from bad job references that are untruthful or not based on an opinion. Accordingly, an employer can not give you a bad reference if they do not have knowledge of the bad performance and it if is relayed to the inquiring company as being a fact. If your employer misrepresent your performance, your reason for leaving, or any other information relayed to a potential employer, you may have a claim for defamation. Please keep in mind that job defamation claims are extremely difficult to pursue and rarely successful. You would need to be able to prove that your former employer intentionally damaged your reputation by providing false statements to your prospective employer. A former employer will not be liable for statements made in a legal proceeding or governmental background check.
If you have any questions regarding whether your former employer Can Give You a Bad Reference, please contact a NJ Employment Attorney.