bad references

J. Johnson siddo at u.washington.edu
Sat Nov 23 01:51:07 EST 1996


Hello Julia,

Please read my response to Warren Gallin's concerns regarding this issue
of illegality in reference/reccommendations. You would understand that 
my use of the word "lie" has nothing to do with what you are accusing
me; please read my response to him before you tag me as the bad gal.  I
am talking about personal slander, defamation, and purposefully trying to
prevent a fully competent person from getting a job;  not saying that
someone is great, fabulous, technically brilliant and God's gift to
science when they are not. I am not talking of the "poison people", I am
talking about a hell of a lot of people who have been screwed by the
system and their advisors for some reason or another who have to RELY on
these people to reccommend/refer them for employment.  It is a hideous
problem and all too pervasive and should not be tolerated.  Whether you
like it or not, what I am talking about is illegal.  I didn't make up the
law; but I do plan to LOOK it up when I get the chance.
 
Simmer down there fireball! (please accept this as a humorous statement)

Jenn


 On 20 Nov 1996 JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU wrote:

> Jenn writes:
> 
> (large snip of the details)
> >
> >I didn't learn until later that giving a bad reference is illegal. It is
> >illegal to slander, lie and personally attack someone in a written or oral
> >referece; it is called defamation of character.  I haven't looked up the
> >specific statutes or common law on this issue, but I would be curious.  At
> >any rate that is what I meant.  Now quid pro quo:  Why do YOU ask?
> >
> 
> 
> I think some clarification is in order here-it's not illegal to give a bad reference-if 
> the person truely was bad.  And as much as I hate to admit it, there are "poison people" 
> out there I've worked with whom I could never reccommend for a position with someone 
> else-to do so would be to lie.  But I think this lie is what Jenn is tagging as illegal 
> (and I don't know the law behind it so I can't help out here). To give a false reference 
> for someone, whether good or bad, is at least unethical,if it isn't illegal.  But the 
> bottom line is-one bad reference won't kill you-unfortunately it happens more often than 
> many care to admit.  Personality problems do happen.  On the other hand, more than one 
> bad reference, ESPECIALLY if they cite the same reasons can be damning.  But this isn't 
> peculiar to science- it happens in business as well!
> Julia Frugoli
> Dartmouth College
> 
> visiting grad student at
> Texas A&M University
> Department of Biological Sciences
> College Station, TX 77843
> 409-845-0663
> FAX 409-847-8805
> "Evil is best defined as militant ignorance."
> 																										Dr. M. Scott Peck
> 
> 




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