Giving bad references is OK if they’re true

Former employee seeks almost $800,000 in defamation and punitive damages for employer’s bad reference – but only gets $17,000 for reasonable notice of dismissal

You’ve probably heard of the saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, that’s not always the case – at least for employers providing references for former employees. Many employers are afraid to provide anything more than basic facts about a former worker’s job, especially if they don’t have anything positive to say. But a recent Ontario decision shows employers shouldn’t be afraid to be upfront about employee performance issues in reference checks – as long as it’s the truth.

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