Ok so you would have to pursue the manager who gave the incorrect feedback as the new employer has simply relied on that feedback and cannot be blamed for just going on the information they have.
If an employer decides to issue a reference or feedback, they will automatically owe the subject a duty to take reasonable care in its preparation. This requires the employer to be accurate in the contents of the reference and ensure it is true, accurate and fair and does not provide a misleading impression.
Certain principles have been established through case law over the years when assessing the duty of care owed by the employer, as follows:
The main test is from the case of Lawton v BOC Transhield, which requires a court to ask whether a reasonably prudent employer would have expressed the opinions which were stated in that particular reference and to ensure the accuracy of the facts upon which any opinion expressed in the reference was based.
So if it is obvious that incorrect facts have been relied on or the contents are false or misleading, the employee could consider taking the matter further.
There are various options available for taking this further all of which would be pursued in the civil courts and would generally seek compensation:
· Defamation – if the reference tends to lower the subject’s reputation in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally. However, such claims are rather complex and expensive and are not usually the best option
· Malicious falsehood - if the reference contains untrue words that were published maliciously, so a situation where the employer knew the contents were untrue and published them anyway
· Negligent misstatement – simple negligence where the employer has failed to do their homework and has included inaccurate facts without checking their validity first.
Does this answer your query?