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Some advice re a bad reference pls

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Hi All,


just wondered if someone could offer any advice. Basically, my sister worked for just over a year for a company (same co. as me also but different dept).

Whilst there she was being bullied by her co-worker over most of the time there. She decided she'd had enough and didn't want a fuss so went to hand in her notice.

Her boss wouldn't accept it and asked why she decided to go as her work was exemplary and her boss hadn't noticed anything amiss. My sis didn't want to mention the bullying and just wanted to go quietly. The boss obviously had an inkling and would not let it go and said 'please tell me as I don't want to go and I know it's more than you're letting on'.

So she explained what had been going on and the boss said ' I totally understand as she's a bit like that with me also!' That made my sis feel better as she thought she was going a bit mad but couldn't believe the boss was putting up with it!

Anyway her boss said it would be very hard to prove as it would be her word against the bully's and when she had approached the bully before about certain things in the past she would just break down and cry and the boss would feel sorry for her!

To be fair, they did offer her another job in another dept. just to keep her but as she knew she'd still have some dealings with the bully, she accepted and later declined the offer as she didn't feel strong enough at that time to cope.

She had taken time off while all this was going on and just couldn't cope with ever returning. She e-mailed her notice and made her apologies.

A few weeks later she got a call from personnel and they asked why she had gone but she didn't let on and make it official (God knows why as I would have handled it very differently)! I suppose she just wanted to draw a line under the whole episode.

She told personnel that she needed to spend some time with her disabled son to sort out a new school for him which she did but it wouldn't have made her leave her job.

Fast forward 6 months and she applied for a lovely job, great hours etc and felt confident enough to go for it. She beat 165 other applicants and was offered the job subject to references etc.

This morning, she rec'd a letter to say they were withdrawing their offer due to one of the references. So she called the woman who offered her the job and although she couldn't give too much info she said something had been put on the reference and there was no way they would let her appeal because of it.

She is naturally gutted and has been crying all day and feels that she is being victimised all over again. Under the freedom of info act she is going to request a copy of the reference but that doesn't help right now.

I am on maternity leave at the moment which is a good thing as I know I would have ended up losing my job today as I would have confronted both bully and boss and really lost it.

My sis wrote to her old boss a couple of months after leaving and thanked her for everything she had helped her with (what a joke that is now)! but never heard back.

I thought there was no such thing as a bad reference? So on future references she is going to have to erase that part of her employment history and lie if she wants another job.

God I'm so bloody angry myself now!:mad: Anyway needed to get that off my chest.

Can any of you good people offer any advice on what she could do now?

Many thanks


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Hi elpulpo - have you sar'd yours yet? The thing is she was kind of approached to apply for this job by someone who works there and had worked with her years ago and she just feels really embarrased that she will think that she has lied about something. It's nhs and they take ages to employ you anyway and she has waited months to hear when to start and now this!

Lisa x

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