When a reader asked a question about what she could do when she found out an old boss was badmouthing her on reference checks, Ask Annie gives high praise to Allison & Taylor reference checking services.

Dear Annie: I’m in a terrible spot. About four years ago, right out of college, I got a job as part of a new-product launch team at a big consumer products company. Everything was going great. Then, two years ago, my boss was replaced by someone who just didn’t like me. No matter how hard I tried, our personalities were like oil and water, and we just never clicked.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I was among the first to get laid off during staff cutbacks last spring. The shock came last week. After several months of job hunting and half a dozen interviews that went nowhere, the hiring manager at one company where I applied recently called and told me my most recent boss, whom I gave as a reference, is saying bad things about me. (Among other negative remarks, he said I was “flighty.”)

My old company has a formal policy in the employee manual against telling anyone anything except dates of employment and job title. Should I tell someone at the company that my old boss is violating the policy? Should I call him and ask why he is saying these things? Should I get a lawyer? [Unfortunately, my first boss there, who liked me, has since passed away.] Help! — Just Joan

Dear J.J.: The hiring manager who tipped you off did you a favor. Most people who are being badmouthed by their references never find out who’s saying what — they just don’t get hired.

Moreover, while most big companies (and many small ones) have a formal policy such as you describe, not all references abide by it. Heidi Allison, president of reference checking firm Allison & Taylor, says about half the calls her staffers make turn up unexpected trouble.

Read the full story here.

About Allison

Allison & Taylor Inc. and its principals have been in the business of checking references for individuals and corporate accounts since 1984. We have successfully built our brand and corporate recognition and have been recommended by industry specialists such as The New York Times award-winning author Martin Yate (“Knock ‘Em Dead Résumés”). Numerous articles have been published about our business in newspapers and magazines including The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour Magazine, New Woman, Worth, National Business Employment Weekly, The Detroit News, and The St. Petersburg Times.