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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5357
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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My husband was dismissed from a job 12 years ago some wine

Customer Question

My husband was dismissed from a job 12 years ago for taking some wine from his employ. The matter went to court and received a payment of the fine of $500 but no conviction as it was a first time offence.
Since this offence he has had several long term jobs, the most recent 9 years with the same employ to which he has recently made redundant.
He has been aware that since the incident, the his old employer has tried to get him dismissed from his new employ and exaggerated the incident that he had stolen pallets of wine not 6 bottles.
As he is now looking to secure a full time position it is come to light that his mistake of 12 years ago is coming back to haunt him. He recently was working some trial shifts and the new potential employer although was fully impressed with his skills had been advised about the incident so therefore did not want to take him on.
What rights does my husband have, and if the truth is being exaggerated is there anything that he can do to put a stop to it after 12 years?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 9 months ago.

There is nothing in the law which strictly prohibits a former employer from telling future employers about an issue they had with your husband, however, if no conviction was recorded your husband can state that was not convicted of anything. If the former employer is exaggerating what happened then your husband likely has good grounds for defamation action and your husband could in priniciple sue the former employer for damages, which would include a claim for any lost employment opportunities and any overall financial losses which may have resulted. Moreover, if he has made any of his false or exaggerated allegations in writing to former employers (i.e. written them a letter) then the fact such behaviour appears malicious could amount to a crime:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/wa1958111/s10.html

It would also be arguable that such behaviour on the part of a former employer may amount to stalking under the Crimes Act:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca195882/s21a.html

particularly if you put the employer on notice that your husband may become depressed as a result of the former employer's behavior.

I would suggest a strongly worded warning from a solicitor advising of the above matters may suffice to dissuade this former employer from persisting in such action.

I trust the above assists.

Good luck and PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick

Expert:  Patrick H. replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

I note it has been some time since I povided my answer to you, but you haven't rated my answer yet and am wondering if there is anything further I can do for you to ensure a positive rating.

Patrick