defamation/slander

What are my rights? I was hired by a local LTC facility as a RN. During the paperwork orientation, I was told after the 3 hour break that they would not be able to hire me because I had a bad reference. They will not tell me what was said or who said it. I believe the information being provided is false and malicious. I have only worked in two places. Another local LTC and the VA hospital. Both claim they only give out date of employment. The professional references came from the local LTC. Four professional refs were asked for. I know that 3 of the 4 did not say anything derogatory however, I am not sure about the DON. The LTC faught against paying my unemployment and the DON was basically caught in a white lie. I have been unemployed for over 6 months and feel this bad reference is the cause of my continued unemployment. The reason I was let go by the 1st LTC was due to low census. They tried to say I quit because they didn't want to pay my unemployment.
I would pay for a consultation if I had the money but I only receive $800 SSA (death benefit). I am a widow who has a mortgage, utilities, and child to care for. I have also been force to accept medicaid for the both of us and I am waiting on approval for foodstamps.
I would appreciate any information you can supply and thank you for your time.

Sincerely
kathy

1 answer  |  asked Jun 15, 2004 4:10 PM [EST]  |  applies to North Carolina

Answers (1)

Reagan Weaver
slander

There are organizations that you can pay to obtain references so you do not have to be in the dark. I have seen cases that were based on what these "testers" found and the court rejected any recovery because the tester had been hired. Despite this, it might be worthwhile to find the fairly modest amount to get the information you need. You can, either with the information from a tester or without, have a lawyer write a letter threatening the probable culprit and her employer with a slander action if s/he continues to slander you. That might suffice. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations on slander in NC is one year from the date the slander was uttered--not from the date you learned of it. You sound like you qualify for Legal Aid. I would strongly suggest that you contact the Legal Aid office in Charlotte or Asheville and tell them that you are a Medicaid recipient. I may be wrong, but I thought that was the most important criteria for you to meet in order to obtain their assistance. Good luck.

posted by Reagan Weaver  |  Jun 15, 2004 4:39 PM [EST]

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