If you believe that you are getting an undeserved bad reference, there are things you can do. First, call your old boss and attempt to resolve any issues. If this approach doesn’t work, or you are not comfortable contacting the reference, hire a reference-checking company to check your references for you. These companies will discreetly check your references and provide you with a report that covers both what was said about you and the tone with which it was said. Once you receive the report, ask yourself if it is honest. If not, contact a lawyer right away. Slander laws vary slightly from state to state, but a former employer cannot divulge information about you that is both false and malicious.