Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about this personal conflict and the fact you felt it necessary to resign.
This is a very difficult situation. The reason stems from the fact that employment in the state of Iowa is "at will
" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination
on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation
for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage
claim, taking FMLA
leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination
is fair, reasonable or even true.
So, since you could be fired for personal reasons, you would not have a legal claim because you resigned in advance of being fired for personal reasons. It is highly unfortunate and unfair, but the law just does not provide a remedy in this circumstance.
As for the call your former boss made to a prospective employer, there is a tort recognized in Iowa known as "intentional interference with economic advantage" that might apply. Basically, in order to have a claim on this basis, you would need to prove that you were in an economic relationship with the new employer that probably would have resulted in benefit to you (i.e. you were hired or about to be hired) and your former boss "intentionally or improperly interfered" in that relationship, causing you to suffer damage. It may be hard to prove all of these elements, but retaining an attorney to write a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit on this basis will probably be enough to get her to stop, as she stands nothing to gain from attacking you like this but much to potentially lose if she's sued. See here to locate a lawyer in your area who can be retained for this purpose: http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/employment-law-employee/iowa
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.