My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California
While working for an past employer, I filed a class action lawsuit that was eventually settled and I also negotiated a severance agreement to leave the company.
In it my former company "agrees to follow its normal policy of providing dates of employment and positions held by me to potential employers who may contact the company about me and not to provide any further information, including and without limitation, mention of the lawsuit or disparaging comments about me."
I believe that's exactly what they have done several times, causing the loss of potential employment. I recently found out from a former co-worker that he had heard I had applied to a company and had been prevented from getting the job. There is no reason that he should have known about what had occurred. In fact, I didn't even know why I didn't get that job up to that point. The fact that he even had any knowledge was especially troubling when he's not even a member of management.
In 2012, I applied for a job I was perfectly suited for, was interviewed and hired on the spot. They even sent me for a drug screen. When I inquired about my start date, I started to get the run around and never allowed to begin working. Although I suspected my former company, I had no proof and chose to just move on.
I recently got an email from a different manager of that same company who had found my resume online, felt my skills were perfect for the position he has open and invited me to interview. Its clear that he's unaware of my previous interview or that I had been hired and never allowed to begin working.
I interviewed yesterday, and then provided with all the paperwork to fill out to begin my background check. I am fairly certain that once I do and they contact my ex employer, I will once again lose the job.
Should I try to use this advanced knowledge to my advantage in order to gather evidence that will prove my claim of retaliation, contract violation, and equal employment opportunity?
Do I have any recourse against their actions and what steps should I take to protect myself?