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I resigned without notice from a job of 10 months recently due to questionable billing practices through Medicare for services not rendered. They were suddenly under investigation by the OIG/FBI and I was concerned for my professional license. I even put in a deposition as a witness to the prosecution. Believe me, when you go down to FBI headquarters and spend 4 hours talking to agents and attorneys it's extremely stressful.

When a new employer sent them a survey on my work performance they checked off negative responses and stated I was not eligible for rehire. I had three formal performance reviews in my time there that were all excellent. My new employer heard my side of the story at the initial interview but refused to call my immediate supervisor from that place for a work reference that would have been highly positive. She let me go a few weeks later before my probation was up by saying I used her computers for personal use (internet use during slow times). I didn't even have an opportunity to discuss the situation and simply left.

What now? I did not give them permission to contact that employer for obvious reasons (they weren't too thrilled to have me leave all of a sudden). I don't want future businesses getting the same information back.

  • Sounds like you were let go with cause at the new employer. Find an employer that won't contact a reference like that. – Ramhound Sep 5 '14 at 1:23
  • Whose billing practices were they? The firm's? Yours? Of course, if the billing practices were yours, your references wouldn't have much weight. – Vietnhi Phuvan Sep 5 '14 at 2:37
  • Why are you assuming that the bad reference from the old job had anything to do with being let go from the following job? It's not entirely clear to me that the two things are at all related. – HopelessN00b Sep 5 '14 at 14:22
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They went through the effort of hiring you, but decided not to keep you after the probation.

This is unlikely to be the result of anything relating to your prior job - they simply wouldn't have hired you if it was. Rather they were unimpressed with your performance during the probation period and made a calculated decision that they don't want you for whatever reason that they are unlikely to share with you. I would be hesitant to keep an employee who idles during "slow times" instead of being proactive and searching for activities that bring the company forward.

Alternatively they may no longer have a need for the position (if there were slow times during the probation period, this is actually quite likely), or never wanted a person, but needed to go through the hiring process for HR reasons.

There isn't anything you should be looking to do with this company (except perhaps checking to see if they are hiring for that position again) - it's unfortunate, but you simply need to start searching elsewhere, and do some thinking as to why they wouldn't want you after they already cleared the major effort for hiring - keeping a person on probation is a lot less work than hiring a new person, so there really should be a reason for that.

  • 3
    This is a lesson to be learned. Whilst there are few people who work flat out 100% of the time, you need to be very careful when slacking off at work. For example, by posting on Stack Exchange when you should be testing code. I'd better get back to work. – Dave M Sep 5 '14 at 11:16
  • It is a sign of mismanagement if it becomes an issue, sadly the employees get the blame, not management which then ends up affecting them moving forward. – bobo2000 Jan 18 '17 at 12:45
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You say this:

My new employer heard my side of the story at the initial interview but refused to call my immediate supervisor from that place for a work reference that would have been highly positive.

This sounds reasonable & good. They gave you a chance based on your honesty as well as clarity.

Now you say this; emphasis mine:

She let me go a few weeks later before my probation was up by saying I used her computers for personal use (Internet use during slow times). I didn't even have an opportunity to discuss the situation and simply left.

Now, using a work computer for personal reasons might be a tenuous reason, but is it valid? Because in my mind it seems like you are trying to justify their dismissal of you during your probation period because of what happened at your previous position.

It’s unclear what the full picture is, but my gut says you simply have been dealt two bad hands at employers at a time. With a situation in the first employer that seems to be 100% not your fault. And a situation with the second that might be caused by you, but again no clear picture.

My advice? 10 months at one bad job and 2 weeks at another adds up to not much. If there is a way you can minimize the impact of that first job go for it. Don’t deny working for them, but basically tell any new potential employer the full deal. But I would recommend not having any future employers contact the past employer.

But you mention the FBI, right? Do you have a contact there? Because my tact would be, “I worked for this place for 10 months. Then I resigned for reasons connected to an FBI investigation. I didn’t do anything wrong. If you wish to verify, please contact this FBI agent to vouch for me. I realize this might be unusual, but please realize that I’m being completely honest here & would like to work for your organization.”

The key is that your employment history should state you worked for one place for 10 months, but your reference should be that of an FBI agent or someone similar who is not connected to that past company but can completely vouch for your situation.

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Maybe you performed poorly at this recent job and it is also possible they combined your performance with the risk of keeping a "whistle blower."

You can decide if you want to include such a short-term job on your resume or lie and tell future employers you've been looking for work since the trial.

Hopefully, you can find a job and get enough experience to put this in your past. Beware, in some professions, the word gets around more than you think, so you could have a stigma because of the trial. This may force you to look into another profession that is closely related or in a different location.

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