I worked in a small company in past. I had a very bad experience with them, since before I even joined. They delayed my hiring for several months (so I was basically unemployed for several months). Working conditions were also very poor compare to other companies here. In the end, I had to quit within 6 months. It was a very bad experience for me.

I wanted to write a poor review for them since before I even joined because of so bad experience. And I think it will give me great pleasure to write a negative review about them. I know they will realize it's me, but I don't care. There is also no doubt I don't ever want to apply there again in my life too.

My question is: What are the risks in writing a bad review of ex-employer on Glassdoor.

It's a small company so I am assuming, they will easily know it's me. It won't be anonymous at all for sure.

Update: I personally disagree with the primary opinion-based flag. I am not asking if I should do it or not. I am asking what are the disadvantages in doing it. The answers below offered facts about how it can go wrong on me.


3 Answers 3


I think there are two risks with writing on a public website:

  • Libel - If you write false statements, your previous employer may sue for libel. It's best to stick with facts about your job that won't turn out to be false. "I did not like the food." vs "The chef made the food with malice and put poison in it that made it taste like garbage."
  • Bad reference - chances are you got a bad reference already but if anything can tie you back in specifically, then they may figure out it is you who wrote it. "Projects I worked on were frequently dropped" vs "I worked on project X, then project Y and my boss A said this, and that."

Other than that, go right on ahead. Assuming you are in the USA, and unless you wrote knowingly false and damaging statements, you're completely protected by free speech.


What are the risks in writing a bad review of ex-employer on Glassdoor.

In theory there are none, because the posting is done anonymously*.

It could be a bit evident if the company has few or almost none reviews, when that company could draw conclusions and wonder on who might have been... but this is still conjecture.

On the other hand, by writing a truthful review you may spare future workers a bad experience.

Some related reading (a post from Glasdoor themselves): Can My Boss or Employer Fire Me For Posting on Glassdoor?. Also may read Tips on writing a review to avoid defamation.

* It seems that according to this article from last year, the Federal Court decided that post may not be too anonymous after all, as the government could compel Glassdoor to provide user info for investigations.

  • 1
    It's a small company and they will know it's me. So it won't be anonymous. Are there still risks for me?
    – user84068
    Jun 21, 2018 at 18:11
  • 3
    @coderface I think I already covered that with my answer. It seems it's more risky in your case to leave a "bad" review. I suggest you move on, or if you will leave a review don't do it for revenge and stick to the truth and try to remain objective.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 21, 2018 at 18:26

Just move on with your life. I understand wanting to slam the company in a review but this really accomplishes nothing. What is is you hope to accomplish besides blowing off some steam?

We've all been there with a bad employer. Mine was getting laid off (HR euphemism was position eliminated ) from a very large (275k employees) financial firm. I still give them the one-finger salute during their commercials.

  • 3
    Blowing off steam makes it sound like a rant that will likely be ignored by anyone seeking employment. If your objective is to warn others about the workplace, then stick with facts like the delayed start date, and poor working conditions (long hours? low pay? stressful environment? too much pressure by the management?). I think those elements will be helpful as opposed to just saying it is a bad place and you didn't get to do what you wanted. Think about what others would want to hear.
    – Dan
    Jun 21, 2018 at 18:26
  • 1
    Agree to a point. Bad/good reviews can be gamed to almost anything. I find glassdoor to be almost useless. Employees can post bad reviews of a company and the company (anonymous of course) can post great reviews. This is my same observation with something like yelp - too much information that can't be verfied.
    – JazzmanJim
    Jun 21, 2018 at 19:25
  • I agree that there are a lot of noise that makes it difficult to truly gauge a company on sites like glassdoor or yelp. However, I think using common sense, you can figure out a review's usefulness and that shouldn't stop an individual from writing a review about a company or their employment that they feel may be helpful to others.
    – Dan
    Jun 22, 2018 at 12:47
  • 1
    Personally as an applicant, I ignore positive reviews most of the time, and look for common things about negative reviews. That's very hard to hide
    – user84068
    Jun 25, 2018 at 18:03

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