Bad reference leads to dismissal and a breakdown | IT Contractor

Bad Reference for reader
Bad Reference for reader

Bad Reference Leads to Dismissal

A reader sent us this, about a Bad Reference, in response to our Unemployed IT Horror Story last week.

I felt really sorry for your contributor who has been out of work for a year. My husband has had similar problems, and I know what he is going through.

My husband’s first dismissal was four years ago this week.

Linked to Mortgage Lender

We eventually discovered this dismissal was as a result of our mortgage lender wrongly identifying us as criminal fraudsters. This is based on their own errors, and our mortgage lender contacted my husband‘s employer.

My husband went through all kinds of stress issues because of his dismissal.

But he did his very best to get another job, only for our mortgage lender to try to re-possesses our house, “in my opinion” this was to prevent us from obtaining finance to bring civil charges against our mortgage lender following rulings by the Insurance Ombudsman & Information Commissioner in our favour.

Very Worst Employment Reference

They gave my husband‘s employer the very worst employment reference that you could imagine.

His German bank employer dismissed him, claiming that the adverse, and quite false, employment reference was why.

The final comment in the reference (see below), as if the reference was not bad enough, this states that my husband is a mortgage fraudster. Not the most career inspiring statement to make about a man working in a senior position at the IT department for the largest German bank in the world!

Husband Dismissed Twice

My husband has been dismissed twice, has had at least three breakdowns, has been vilified, smeared, labelled as a criminal fraudster, and has not worked for three of the past four years.

So, he has all but given up any thought of working in banking and IT again. If employers are not put off by his two dismissals, his multiple breakdowns, and what our mortgage lender say about us, then there is now the press coverage of his two High Court claims.

All the best, Jan.

Zephon Employment Screening


Mr Michael Leo Johnson for DB Group Services – Final Report


Referee; Ms Alison Kirk, Human Resources, Perot Systems

Ms Kirk confirmed that Mr Johnson was employed by the Company as an Associate.

Referee – Mr Simon Hull, Global Manager, Perot Systems

Mr Hull confirmed that Mr Johnson was employed as an IBM Platform Manager at the Perot Systems, which was an integral part of UBS Warburg Dillon Read, being responsible for the running of its infrastructure.

Mr Hull commented that “it was the most horrendous episode that I have ever experienced in my working life”. He stated that they had “all sorts of problems” with the candidate. Mr Hull added that “technically, Mr Johnson was just not up to the job”. He further commented that they tried “a number of `get well plans’ to try to help him, but nothing worked”.

Mr Hull advised that Mr Johnson had a significant lack of management skills, and added
that there was little in his performance that supported the work that he claimed to have done previously.

The referee stated that they had serious compliance issues, and the Bank had strict rules about staff dealing in shares and equities, and Mr Johnson repeatedly “fell foul” of this rule. Mr Hull went on to say that the candidate “just didn’t seem to understand, and they had to go through a formal warning process, but Mr Johnson still did it”. The referee stated that “eventually, we had to terminate his employment”.

Employment Tribunal

Mr Hull further commented that “Mr Johnson initiated action through the Employment Tribunal, but stopped, as Human Resources dealt with that, and I think we had a strong case”.

The referee went on to say that he heard the candidate “got kicked out of a Bank” after he left the Company. He added “allegedly, it was something to do with obtaining a mortgage from the Bank fraudulently”.

Mr Hull stressed that this was a personal interview and that it was given “strictly off the record”.

The candidate stated in his Employment Information Form that he had been terminated by this Employer, adding the comment: “As discussed at interview” in the “Reasons” box. The candidate may, therefore, have already provided an explanation for this issue.

One false bad reference and his career looks to be over.


If anyone has similar stories please contact us and we might publish them.