In today’s job market, successful employees often find that moving forward with their career means changing employers. Unfortunately, even the most promising job lead may not work out if a former employer tries to stand in the way by communicating false information.
Indiana workers should know that state law prohibits employers from practices that may effectively “blacklist” an employee seeking a new position.
What is Indiana’s blacklisting law?
Indiana’s blacklisting law does not prevent a former employer from sharing accurate information about how and why an employee left a position. However, the statute does prohibit employers from communicating false information that would deter another person from hiring the discharged employee.
What can employees do if they suspect blacklisting?
Employers who violate the state’s blacklisting law may be guilty of professional defamation. Employees who suspect that a former employer is sharing defamatory information may be able to file a lawsuit.
The Indiana Department of Labor recommends that, in advance of applying for a position, employees who suspect foul play should ask their former employer to provide copies of any written correspondence sent to a new potential employer. However, the DOL itself does not have the authority to investigate blacklisting claims.
Too often employers engage in defamatory practices as a form of retaliation. Such behavior can have wide-ranging consequences for workers’ present and future job prospects and their ability to support their families. Employees who believe a former employer is purposefully disseminating falsehoods should know that filing a lawsuit may help stop blacklisting efforts. A successful claim may also entitle harmed employees to compensation for lost income and other damages.