1. Hi everyone,
    I am looking for some advice because I have mixed emotions about this issue. Prior to my graduation, I worked as an aid per diem on an floor for about 3 months. During those 3 months I gave my resume to my nurse manager and said I was interested in working there and to let me know if she had any positions. I also checked in with the nurses I was working with as well as the nurse manager to get any feedback from them about my work. I always got positive responses from them.
    Towards the end of those 3 months I was called into the NM's office and she let me know she had a position open. I asked about the position, the hours, start date etc. I asked for a later start date and checked if there were other open shifts with her. She said no but there was a possibility of switching. I realize that I should have jumped at anything she offered, but I did not. I think it was fate because I have a feeling I would be miserable there.
    I found out through an email that I did not get the job. She emailed everyone the floor the new grads and their start dates and I was not one of them I called HR and they told me I did not get the job. I called the NM to find out what the deal was. She told me I was not excited enough about the position and others she interviewed were. Understandable. I then asked her if I could still use her as a reference, and she said of course and that I will make a great nurse.
    Fast forward to yesterday... I get called in for a 2nd interview at a LTC facility. After checking my references one came up that did not put me in a positive light. They had called the NM and she had told the LTC facility that I had an attitude, felt entitled, and other unfavorable things. The LTC facility thought this odd because why would I give a bad reference? So they called me in to explain myself. I did to the best of my ability and was absolutely shocked when I saw the reference. I had 3 other fabulous references and then this one comes from left field.
    I am pretty sure what she did was illegal. Is it even worth my time confronting this woman and possibly tarnishing my reputation at this facility? It's a small world where I live and I definitely do not want to jeopardize my future. Would any of you seek legal action? I am so angry and hurt about this. Thanks everyone for the help.
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   WalkieTalkie
    I think it's crappy for her to agree to let you use her as a reference if she's going to make you sound bad. She should have declined.
  4. by   Wise Woman RN
    Keep the 3 great references and forget about the bad one. You got a chance to explain, hopefully the LTC place will go with the good references. I would not confront or get involved with a legal thing at all, as all that will accomplish is bad feelings and a big dent in your finances. Good luck in all of your endeavors, and keep your head up.
  5. by   BEDPAN76
    Well, IMHO, the place that shared this info with you should be willing to give you a try, especially since the other references were positive. As far as legal action....that is a possibility if you can't get hired anywhere because of it....Sadly, it seems like you have been crapped on already in your new career. Happens to all of us sooner or later. Who knows, maybe that NM will be looking for a job where YOU work, down the road.....I'm sorry this happened to you, but you WILL get past it. Keep in touch!
  6. by   afranklin
    Move on; don't let this become bigger than it has to be.

    You are a nurse, and I'm sure a very good one so don't let one bad apple spoil

    what is about a great journey and, besides, living well is the best revenge!!
  7. by   nminodob
    IMO, the idea of suing is one that most of us would consider - and then as we cooled off, reject. You would get nowhere with it, and it would just bog you down in negativity at a time when you should focus on the challenges ahead. Good luck!
  8. by   roser13
    " am pretty sure what she did was illegal."

    Hunh? Illegal to give a less-than-positive review? Why/how are you 'pretty' sure of that?

    That statement alone worries me with regard to your future employment...why would your thoughts automatically jump to accusation of illegality?
  9. by   liladybug526
    It is illegal for a former employer to say anything negative about you if they are not listed as a reference. Former employers are sometimes called to verify employment. They can only say that yes you worked there and from what date to what date. However, a reference can say whatever they want. I can understand how angry you are and how betrayed you must feel. My advice is chalk it up to her being a nasty person and move on. Good luck in your future employment search.
  10. by   RN1982
    As said by the previous poster that former employers cannot say anything negative about you when listed as a reference. My former boss couldn't be my reference and would refer my future boss to HR if there were any questions about me. Secondly, you are a new grad, take what you can get right now. I hope you can get the LTC job. After some experience, you can move on to a more favorable position. If you do not get the job because of what your former boss said, yes, I would seek legal action.
  11. by   ac123
    Thank you everyone for the advice. I am hoping I get this job at the LTC. The facility was great, the staff supportive, and seems like a great employer since they called me in to explain my side of the story. I will not be getting in touch with the NM and/or seeking legal representation. I am waiting for everything to pan out. Most likely I will not since it seems having her listed as a reference warranted her to voice whatever she wanted. We'll see. But thank you again! I really appreciate everyone's input.
  12. by   Jolie
    To those who believe it is "illegal" for the nurse manager to give the OP an unfavorable reference, can you please cite an article supporting your position?

    I am quite certain that the nurse manager did nothing legally wrong. The OP listed the nurse manager as a reference, which, according to the fine print on most job applications, gives the potential employer permission to contact the reference for information related to job performance. Unless the applicant specifically limits accessible information to dates of employment and/or elibibility for re-hire, any information relevant to the employee's performance is fair game.

    Many employers have adopted the policy of limiting information provided to dates of employment and eligibility for he-hire. It is done to avoid accusations of libel or slander, not because of any legal prohibition on providing more information. In fact, some states have enacted laws protecting employers from libel and slander suits if they provide truthful information regarding an employee's performance, rather than just pass on unsatisfactory employees to other unsuspecting employers.

    I don't know why the manager would offer to give a good reference, and then fail to do so. Perhaps she confused the OP with another employee. Perhaps she really didn't like the OP, and was not professional enough to state that directly to her. Perhaps in the course of answering the recruiter's questions about the OP she remembered examples of unfavorable performance on the OP's part. She may have reviewed the OP's file and remembered a particular problem or incident.

    I believe that the manager should have been honest with the OP upfront, when the reference was requested, or contacted her if she remembered something that would have prevented her from giving a good reference. Her actions were unprofessional.

    But I don't believe that there is anything "illegal" in her actions, and probably not even anything that would support a civil action for libel or slander. She was asked for an opinion, which she gave, apparently with the OP's permission.

    In the future, it might be helpful for the OP to request a written reference from another manager or co-worker to take along to an interview. That way the content of the reference will be fully known in advance and no one will be surprised.

    Best of luck!
  13. by   GOMER42
    It is not illegal to give an opinion of someone.
    If she thought you had an attitude, she is allowed to say it. You asked her to be reference, therefore she was granted permission by you to share her opinion of you. She relayed what her feelings about you were based on her experience with you. What she stated is not a lie, hence is not slander.
    Perhaps you should take those negative comments into consideration and work on them rather than being angry.
    Good luck to you. I hope you get the LTC position.
  14. by   cypress101010
    I would just let it go and chalk this up to experience. Focus your efforts on obtaining the new position with a positive attitude and move on. You will be better for it. Good luck.