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Can future employers find out about claims against previous ones?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2021 | Blog, Employment Law

If your employer breaks the law when firing you, you may have a valid wrongful termination claim. If your claim is successful, your employer may have to pay your lost wages and benefits and compensate you for your emotional distress. Sometimes, at-fault employers must also cover legal fees and pay penalties for their bad behaviors.

Regardless of the outcome of your legal claim, you may eventually want to work with a different employer. During the application and interview processes, though, you may wonder if your prospective employer can find out about your previous claims.

Finding information about claims and lawsuits

It is theoretically possible for future employers to uncover information about your initial complaint or civil lawsuit. To do so, an employer would likely have to look through publically available agency information and court records. In practice, it is exceedingly unlikely an employer would expend the considerable resources necessary to obtain this information.

Asking you about your previous claims

A hiring manager may ask you if you have ever filed a complaint or lawsuit against an employer. This line of questioning, though, can be risky. After all, if you had a legal right to take action against a prior employer, a subsequent employer’s refusal to hire you may violate your employment rights.

Working for a lawful employer

If an employer will not hire you because you exercised your legal rights in the past, you simply may not want to work for that employer. That is, if a prospective employer has concerns about the complaints and suits you have filed in the past, that employer may not have much respect for federal and state employment laws.

Ultimately, you should not let your fear of securing future employment dissuade you from asserting your legal rights.

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