A fried of mine ran into the following situation in Australia.
She was hired by a consulting firm (I will not mention any names here), and was subsequently sent to a client to work there. From there, according to what I heart, she was set up for failure and humiliated in every single way; it seems to be a cut-throat environment.
I won't go into details about the humiliation and the sabotage she received. Effectively, her employment was terminated as soon as her work was finished (unsuccessfully due to the sabotage) with the client, during her probation period. She was not given any reason (we suspect it might be a combination of a security breach she was forced to "do" for a reason only her manager at the client is responsible for, plus someone covering their arse for the "failure", yet taking credit for the work she has done).
My friend stayed positive about this, and started to send out CVs again. As soon as recruitment agents called in, they told her that the consulting firm have told the recruitment agents what happened. Today she received a phone call from a guy still working at the consulting saying that the day she was let go, everyone (even unrelated) in the company was informed about that decision, possibly to make it impossible for my friend to get a good reference or a reference at all (which is usually very non-helpful not to have here).
My worry is that this could affect her ability to find another job, as it seems that that firm be very aggressive about this whole thing even after the fact (they could just let it go, IMHO); as well as it does affect her emotional stability.
My question is at what point and how can we react to this behaviour in a way that makes it clear that this is not fair, yet is not detrimental to her future career. Or shall we just let them wield their power qua coorporate attorneyship until they cease and finally let it go? I don't understand why a firm would go that far and aggressively try to ruin someone (emotionally as well as career-wise) even after termination.
I know there is the ombudsman and the like, but she is afraid that this would only escalate the entire thing. Yet, it frustrates her to be powerless in this situation.