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What is Blackballing?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
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The practice known as blackballing refers to a voting process used to include or exclude new applicants for membership in secretive gentlemen's clubs such as the Elks, Eagles or Masons. Under cover of darkness or some other cloaking method, voters would place either a small white ball or a small black ball into a communal ballot box. Depending on the established voting rules of the organization, a single black ball could disqualify a candidate from membership or a certain percentage of black balls would have to be reached.

Blackballing is generally seen as an anonymous and unambiguous voting process which leaves no doubt as to the outcome, but protects individual voters against retribution for a negative result. Some fraternal organizations, such as the Masons, use a black cube instead of a ball to eliminate any possible misinterpretation of the vote. Blackballing can also be used to vote out established members who have been accused of rule violations or other conduct considered detrimental to the integrity of the organization.

The origins of blackballing are said to trace back to the ancient Greeks, who used light or dark seashells as voting ballots. The Greek name for these shells, ostrakon, forms the root of the English word ostracize, which literally means to shun undesirable members of a society or group. Blackballing during ancient times often meant a complete stripping of all rights and privileges, plus the added indignity of being exiled from the community.

In a modern sense, blackballing may refer to an unspoken practice of not hiring an employee fired by another company under contentious or controversial circumstances. That employee may find himself or herself unable to find other local firms willing to hire someone whose reputation precedes him or her. Some incidents of corporate or social blackballing may be retaliatory or abusive in nature, while others are meant to warn potential employers or clients. It can be very difficult for a person who has been blackballed to regain his or her credibility or reputation.

Blackballing can be a vindictive practice or an abuse of collective voting power, but many organizations take steps to ensure a single negative vote does not overrule the general will of the voting majority. A second ballot may be taken at a later date, or a private discussion amongst voters could result in a reversal of the original blackballing decision.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Historical Index, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon348057 — On Sep 13, 2013

I have been blackballed by a federal agency. I have complained to the EEOC, MSPB and Court of Appeals. I have provided evidence to EEOC of fabricated felony accusations, documented in disciplinary report. There were many, many occurrences of fraud and coverups. My attorneys afraid to fight because the government will retaliate. I have been unemployed five years. Fortunately, I was able to retire early. God is good.

By anon339241 — On Jun 21, 2013

I too have experienced this type of oppression, but I refuse to let evil take root and have rule over my affairs. I could tell my story like so many of you have, but why give evil any more free advertisement? Suffice it to say that I have experienced bits and pieces of what many of you have described on this site, but I will not succumb to defeat or curl up and die just because some band of imps think I should.

We do not fight against flesh and blood, but principalities in high places. It's fairly easy to get earthly stooges to do evil, because they are lusting after power more than money and this lust is never satisfied. For those who have no spiritual discernment, the following prayer may not work for you. But for those who have an ear to hear, fear not because you have the power to chase evil out of your life and reclaim that which the destroyer has robbed from you -- this includes your finances, reputation, health, and peace of mind!

“In Jesus name, may God bless you all and me to find gainful, well-paying positions to take care of ourselves and our families. I dispatch warring angels to fight our battles and to undam, unblock, dismantle, and destroy every hindrance that is keeping us from being employed in your chosen fields right now. May God also return evil, mayhem, and confusion to the originators seven-fold, and simultaneously return what has been taken from us one-hundredfold, right now, in Jesus' name, Amen!”

My next best practical advice is as follows:

Walk in your victory, even before you have it. Review your job-related skills and see if these can be utilized in creative ways in other areas. In short, do what you love and are passionate about. God didn't give you a specific desire for certain things for nothing. Some people climb mountains, save whales, or work in jobs that you and I don't even consider, yet they are highly effective in their work and prosperous on levels that they are comfortable with -- why is that?

The Goliath that you are facing usually has only one or two spheres for from which they operate and are totally ineffective in all others. That's good news because that means the rest of the free world is wide open to you and me. I once heard it said that, "My enemy's enemy is my friend," so use this to your advantage (but in an ethical, moral, and scrupulous way).

Know that you are not alone, even though it looks and feels that way. If you sought out and found this website, that should bring you some level of comfort that what you are experiencing is not just in your head – it is indeed a very real situation! Nevertheless, speak life, wealth, health, discernment, clarity, prosperity, and happiness into your situation; otherwise, if you elaborate on the bad things, that's exactly what you will continuously get! Funny how that works, but its so true! (I have a side story about this very thing: I was prone to complaining how badly my dog sheds naturally, and before I knew it, the poor thing was losing clumps of hair in patches. I had unwittingly cursed my dog with my own mouth! Now I just tell him how much I love him and how beautiful he is, and the irritation is gone and the hair is growing back.)

Adverse circumstances only have the power you give them. Best example: Consider that guy who has no arms or legs (you've probably seen him on talk shows) but he has found a way to use his head and body (that's all he's working with) to travel the world, make money, be happily married, and father a child. At one point in his youth he heard the voice of evil telling him to commit suicide, but God told his parents and they were able to lovingly intervene. Having no arms and no legs is an incredible disadvantage among others who do, and there's no doubt that he has been blackballed from nearly every work situation that we can think of, except one – and that's all he needed! If he can do that, then the rest of us can make a similar impact in the places where we live.

Lastly, I've also heard it said that, "If you're not getting what you want, you're aiming too low." For those of you who can pinpoint where change is needed in "the system," go fearlessly after that job! God will honor your commitment and will give you the resources to sustain yourself and be a blessing to others.

Most of all, keep your head up and don't let your enemies get the better of you. Other weaker souls may be looking at your situation and silently depending on you to pull through. If you crumple, they will remain whipped into place and the dysfunctional system stays intact. Don't let it happen. Dispatch your warring angels every day, and take back what's rightfully yours!

By anon338767 — On Jun 17, 2013

Actually it is easy to find out if you are being blackballed. The way to find out is if you are not eligible for rehire. I know my old school district, the one that illegally fired me, has at least two lawsuits currently filed against it for its "do not rehire" designation.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to return to public school teaching after being unlawfully terminated, which happens to many, many teachers who have done nothing worthy of being fired.

By anon312056 — On Jan 04, 2013

I am a physician who has been blackballed in the local medical community and for some of the reasons listed in the article. Also, I was let go from a job 14 years ago and other physicians have actively tried to get me off staff, tried to prove me incompetent and have retaliated regarding justified concerns regarding observed substandard care on their part. I have been unable to find work in my "in demand" specialty.

My recommendations for others: have a professional reference firm pinpoint your negative references and call them out because they are interfering with your ability to live a productive and happy life by precluding your ability to find gainful employment. Rely on your spiritual faith for strength, maturity, integrity and peace. Keep good records of your employment history. Pursue work out of state if necessary with an unrelated company. Improve your resume and pursue charitable activities and contribute service to your local community. Expand and broaden your education if needed. Try to view your temporary unemployment as a personal and spiritual growth opportunity.

Legally, you can have attorneys send your negative, loose tongued prior employers cease and desist letters. Many letters may need to be sent. This may hinder or stop the blackballing if your previous employers want to avoid a lawsuit and the bad publicity that goes with it.

By anon299650 — On Oct 25, 2012

So what can we do? I too am blackballed from being employed. I filed an EEOC complaint against my former employer and now I am unemployed and have been unable to find work for nearly two years now. I was hired by several companies but before I had a chance to start the job, they sent me a letter stating that they decided to hire somebody else. I'm told them they had already hired me. They didn't care.

I was told by several employment law attorneys that there is a secret database with employees who filed EEOC complaints. The employers go to this database and look up names of prospective employers before they hire.

There must be a federal law or some law that help us. Anybody?

By anon283239 — On Aug 03, 2012

Thank goodness there is a revelation about what is going on. Keep asking, keep searching and keep praying. There are no laws to protect people and that is what is so scary. Big Brother wants to silence the people who are seen as a threat. It is inhumane and we all know it.

Legal actions are costly and especially if you are fighting the high positioned people who probably have undercover meetings about how to single people out, using tactics that have driven people into depression, financial burdens and even death.

By licoricecat1 — On Jun 17, 2012

I am a professional with a Bachelors Degree in the medical field. I lost my job due to bullying by women in a large insurance company and the union did not protect me.

I lost everything I owned including my child because I had no money to buy food and food stamps would not help me. I went to school, got a degree, passed my State Boards, but because I lost my job and lost my son to foster care, I have been blackballed from working with children. I have been blackballed from mental health agencies, churches, help agencies, counseling agencies, not protected by police in various districts when I have been robbed or tried to get protection from abusive people in my life, blackballed from my family and relatives and set up by my family with the police and arrested due to hearsay by my sister.

I do not know what to do. I have tried to put a professional standards complaint in with the police for misconduct and they will not take the report. When I tried to ask for their supervisor, I was told that everything must go through this department that refuses to take a complaint against this police officer. I am on disability and do not have enough money for an attorney. I have called all the free attorney agencies and they say they do not do this kind of work.

I am being bullied by police officers who will not follow through on any of the legitimate complaints regarding crimes that have been committed against me, including theft of my debit card and another time from my home and also abuse reports. When I leave messages with the police, they do not call me back and then tell me that I am harassing them.

I feel blackballed by the very agencies that are supposed to help with abuse because they refuse to accept my calls and they work together with the police and the courts.

Please advise. I cannot move away due to my limited income and cannot afford to hire an attorney. I want to start working but due to this continuous harassment, the gap of not working increases and no employer will hire me due to a lack of references. It is difficult to even get volunteer work because they also want references.

By anon246900 — On Feb 11, 2012

The Canadian Federal Government has many historical cases of destroying whistleblowers. The amount of corruption in Canada is alarming and continues at a rapid pace due the lack of legislation for whistleblower protection.

It is our responsibility as citizens of a democracy to change our laws. I am a well known whistleblower and I have been paying the price ever since I reported a conflict of interest. Be wary of Masons as they are part of the organized crime in Canada and worldwide. God Bless the whistleblower!

By anon241861 — On Jan 20, 2012

The U.S. is a police state and has been for a very long time. The people in power are evil, psychopathic monsters. Americans have been conditioned to be sheep if they are not in power positions. What you call blackballing may actually be a watch list. The people who obey these lists and blackballing are pure fascist sheep. They have helped to turn the U.S. into a Nazi police state. They must be brought to justice for what they have done.

If you refuse to hire someone because of a list, it is murder. All those who obey these lists are killers. They believe they will be spared because they were just doing what they were told. No, they destroyed the country and the Constitution. The U.S. government committed the OKC bombing, 9/11, and every other episode of terrorism. Don't you listen to Alex Jones? The U.S. government murders its own citizens, not just Iraqis, Vietnamese, etc., etc.

This government is run by foreign bankers, mostly Zionists, so if you've ever crossed a Jew, you are never going to get another job. I was denied the Ph.D., denied work in my field, and fired from every minimum wage job for over ten years. I was constantly stopped by the police. I was under constant surveillance. There were roadblocks, helicopters, and hell on earth because I exposed some clandestine activity by Zionists. It doesn't matter if you sue everyone who harms you. You need to do everything you can to expose the sheep who perpetuate the evil. The U.S. has always murdered its best. But it is murdering everyone through chemtrails, fluoride, vaccines, and GMOs. I don't live in the U.S. The U.S. wants me to die, just as it wants every intelligent person to die.

By anon233790 — On Dec 09, 2011

I believe my boyfriend has been blacklisted for employment after having worked a short time for the local city government. At this job, he was constantly second-guessed and berated although he has 15-plus years in the field he was hired to work in. His reasons for being released from this position were questionable at best, and outright lies at worst, however he did not question it since he was released during his probationary period of 90 days. Aside from this position, he has stellar references and a proven work history and ethic.

Since then, he has had several prospective job leads given to him by a former college instructor in the same career field and has followed through with a resume and/or application. The instructor is the "go-to guy" in our field when employers are seeking qualified candidates for this type of position, many organizations and companies contact this instructor and he gives recommendations based on his current and former student pool. This instructor and my boyfriend are also friends, and has recommended my boyfriend for several. At any rate, each time he fills out an application or sends a resume, he is never called back or contacted.

I believe his former boss is behind this, and having a former position in city government, could potentially be blacklisting him. What really brought this to light was just last night, while meeting with some friends for drinks, a friend wished another friend good luck. When my boyfriend inquired why we were wishing this guy good luck, another fellow replied that this person had an interview with a company that my boyfriend had previously applied to. This person is far less qualified and has less experience in the field, and is in the same age range as us (mid-30s). So it's not a matter of age and workable years. There is obviously something going on here.

I have recommended to my boyfriend that he employ the services of a reference-checking agency. There are many available on the Internet and for a fee they will pose as a prospective employer and ask the questions necessary to find out if something such as this is happening. Many people believe that the only thing a former employer can do when being checked is confirm the period of time you worked for the company, your salary, and whether or not you are eligible for rehire. Please research for your state or locality, as this is absolutely, 100 percent not true. Potential employers can ask anything they want about your work history, and former employers can answer these questions. I mentioned to the boyfriend last night that he may have to seek employment out of town because of this. Fortunately we have a larger city in another state within an hour's drive of us, which is still an hour of commute. I know this is not possible for everyone. The only other option at this point would be to consider a career change, and while it's never too late, it is. Especially when you have dedicated a good portion of your life to your career and have education, certifications and degrees in it as well. I wish all of you here the best of luck, and will continue to be aggressive in pursuing answers to this situation or help putting an end to it altogether.

By anon221165 — On Oct 11, 2011

I worked in high tech in Silicon Valley for way over 10 years. I was recently laid off and I interviewed for a position which was affiliated with this company. I had been referred in by a director of the company I was laid off from. I went through to the final round and flew out of state for the final interviews. They loved me.

I received a phone call after the weekend anonymously from a director at the company I was to work for. They informed me that someone at the VP level within my last company called them to tell them not to hire me. I asked a lawyer about it and he said it is very hard to prove in court and that the legal fees could be terribly high if I lose. So it's been heartbreaking at the very least.

By klandathu — On Sep 07, 2011

Call your former employer's human resources department posing a hiring manager and ask them for a reference on yourself. Then get a friend or family member to call any former supervisor(s) you listed in your resume and do the same thing (on speaker phone). You'll quickly find out if you're being blackballed.

If you are, send a personal letter to their personnel director informing them that you're disappointed to learn that they had given out a slanderous reference that recently cost you a lucrative position. State that you're consulting with legal counsel and infer that any further negative comments will result in immediate legal action.

By anon203502 — On Aug 05, 2011

I think that I am being blackballed by one of my former employers. I am completing a second graduate degree and ever since I left, I still cannot find a job. In addition, this was my first real job since I left the college, so I don't have many references. I have loan debt and car payments and I can't afford for this to happen.

I did make someone angry before I left the job. Yet, it was unintentional. I was being verbally and physically harassed by a co-worker with more seniority. I complained and complained about it and no one would stop it. They also would give me tasks to do that would make me have to involve the co-worker. Then, the co-worker would harass me more and would use the most vulgar language ever. I later figured out that the co-worker just was afraid that I would get a promotion because I had graduate degree and she barely graduated high school and was ineligible for any promotions.

After trying so much, I finally gave up and wrote a very polite note to the boss and left. After I left, I noticed that very few former co-workers would speak to me and I was blacklisted from ever returning to the company.

In order for this to occur, I am afraid that someone blamed me for something or made me a 'scapegoat' for their wrongdoings.

However, I will keep praying and applying for jobs. 'Vengeance is mine' saith the Lord.

By anon200417 — On Jul 27, 2011

A colleague of mine was proposed for membership of a well known private members' club in London. I was also proposed and seconded at around the same time.

I was informed around 12 months later in writing that my membership application had been accepted by the committee. Naturally, I assumed this colleague of mine would receive a letter at around the same time. I asked him if he had heard anything from the club and he said that he had not received anything.

A few months passed and he had still not heard anything and I decided to ask his proposer about his membership application. He informed me that he had to withdraw my colleague as a prospective member since it was almost certain that he would be blackballed, which would result in him having to resign his membership for proposing an unsuitable candidate. He did not say why the club committee felt that my colleague would be 'unclubbable'.

This is the first time that I have ever come across someone being blackballed before.

By anon183250 — On Jun 04, 2011

I also believe i am on some kind of list. Since 2000 i can't find or keep a job.

Before that, i worked for the same company for 12 years. I and four other girls filed a lawsuit. I thought I was making it better for single women or with children or just with problems. I haven't been able to work since. All I did was ruin my life completely. I just want to work and rejoin the human race again.

By anon180552 — On May 26, 2011

I filed a human rights complaint with my last employer and won the case, but lost my job in the process. Since then, I have been actively seeking employment to the tune of 356 resumes over a three year period. I have had about a dozen interviews and never hear another peep after that. I am almost 50 years old, female, and am living on a shoestring budget - my husband barely makes enough to cover the fixed bills, so we have nothing left for food and we've been living off credit cards. I am so depressed. I have over six solid years of experience as a law clerk/legal assistant, but cannot find work.

I've resorted now to applying to everything and anything and have tailored my resume to each job so as not to look overqualified. It's a shame that for some jobs I have to remove all my education and training and start anew, but if that is what it takes, then that is what it takes. I just need something so that I am not out on the street. So unfair.

By rsmielke — On May 15, 2011

In august of 2006 I was given a reprimand from my employer under very suspicious circumstances that made me out to be violent in the workplace. I told them this wasn't true and that this complaint was filed by hostile employees who retaliated against me for stopping them from breaking the union contract with the approval of management.

The company skewed the investigation to try and find something on me when the complaint had no merit, and they came up with hearsay garbage said out of spite and retaliation. I carried this reputation for three years until they used the same tactic again when a female coworker in management I broke up with fabricated lies against me, and they then fired me for a second code of conduct violation that wasn't true and was made from reputation.

They then got me hired at another dairy and somehow got them to try and slander me too as my dismissal is pending eeoc litigation. I saw the pattern of them creating a hostile environment for me with my co-workers who say they don't have any problems with me, so I quit when I felt I had confirmed they were trying to help the previous company out by reputation me.

I can't get a job even with an impeccable work and service record. Now I find out the first employer's HR director and generalist were friends of the woman I was involved with and have submitted fraudulent evidence to the state investigator. They are starving me out of money and will not succumb to their pressure. These HR women are the ones who inflamed the hostile environment by the leaking of information into the environment two weeks before my knowledge of the investigation flaming and spreading disinformation among my co-workers.

By happygirl665 — On Apr 28, 2011

I, too, have been blackballed from the counseling field, even though I have been working in the field for a couple of years. Lately, every time I apply for a job at the community service board, I never get calls back even though I am very well qualified for any of the jobs. Even when I was working on my internship I was mistreated and disrespected by one of the social workers at the organization that I was working at.

I have spent thousands of dollars on my masters program pursuing my degree in mental health and no matter what I do I can't get a job. Even in 2010 when I was hired by a different company in my area, for some reason within a week after being hired, I was called in while I was at a client's house and informed that I was being let go. The excuse that they gave really didn't make sense at all and when I applied for unemployment, they had to nerve to tell them that I breached confidentiality but the letter my supervisor at the time stated a completely different reason. Even when unemployment asked them, they wouldn't tell them how so I won my case. Being let go was to my surprise because I got along with my supervisor great and she really liked me.

I really don't know what to do but I also believe that we have a God that sits high and looks low. Eventually somebody will slip up and the truth will come out.

By anon164209 — On Mar 30, 2011

Since March of 2008 I believe I have been blackballed by a former supervisor who claimed and bragged he had a brother working for the FBI.

One day I got up and quit from this dead end position, working as an estimator for a company who does chem-cleaning. Later, I found a rumor that claimed I took confidential information to sell it to the competition. The person who told me asked me not to mention my name, and at the moment I just laughed and said “yea right!” In fact, my comment to him was “they watch too many movies”.

I told this to a new partner who works for the state, and who later turned on me because I did not agree with his way to handle business. Because this second person is a state employee working at a state prison as a peace officer, I found out he had access to my records and discussed them with a third partner.

We parted and decided to go my own way, so I thought, because "coincidentally," I kept getting pulled over by the state troopers, without exaggeration I got pulled over 15 times in one month and got five tickets, three of them were bogus, and in one occasion the officer flat out lied and said I was not wearing a seatbelt.

It seems like every other month I have court appearances and by now I owe over $3000.00 in everlasting fines, since I have no job, I can’t pay for the fines, and I can’t pay for the insurance that skyrocketed after so many points.

I had to sell my car, because I felt it was marked. Mow I have to use public transportation and feel like a complete outlaw. I am paranoid and the police have a sixth sense because they give me that “look.” I feel like second class citizen and having lost everything. No job, no credit, no driving privilege, after have given so much to my community in volunteer work, while the two guys are living the life, here I am paying for something I never did.

By anon154722 — On Feb 21, 2011

I have 10 years experience in non-profits and a professional degree in a field where, locally everyone seems to know each other. I believe I am being blackballed by a woman at my last workplace.

I was part of a team of people who made a whistle blower complaint against a staff person who was putting vulnerable children in danger and who worked under this woman. I was subsequently demoted then rehired elsewhere. Now I wonder if any new job I apply for will be affected by this vindictive woman. I don't know what to do. I feel like giving up on this field.

By anon148877 — On Feb 02, 2011

I am highly intelligent with several degrees in education. I am a black American-born citizen living in the state of New York. I am a devout Christian, concerned citizen and educator. I am an activist who speaks out for the sake of justice for all and reports wrongdoings that are unethical, fraudulent and work against society's norms.

However, I worked in a school district in the state of New York for 26 years under the worst scrutiny, adverse terms and conditions the mind could perceive. I contribute to worthy causes such as Feed the Children and fresh water for Africa and feed the homeless. I too, am a victim of blackballing because I fought with ruthless, malicious and unethical administrators for more than 10 years. I made complaints to human rights and to EEOC for the entire ten years. The complaints were alleged to have merit and I was given a four-page determination by the EEOC Agency, 3-charge numbers, and a right-to-sue letter through and from the U. S. Department of Justice a year ago.

I hired a well known law firm to litigate the case. I asked for payment under contingency and he said that I had to give him ten thousand dollars first. I borrowed this money from the only small savings I had. two months later i was constantly billed large sums of money over and over repeatedly without logical explanations. Then I did research on the firm to discover that they had sold out on their clients under two very large litigations and were acting the same with me.

I am afraid of them, but the bill is getting higher every day, they did not include the key defendants in the case and completely dumbed down the case. All of my outside livelihood, businesses such as banks, insurance companies, police, dmv, and other affiliates are destroying my life.

My drivers license was suspended without notice under some fabricated scheme, the bank allowed a company to debit my account without my authorization for an entire year, my annuity for retirement was tampered with and destroyed, my mailbox was shut down and the company that did it is known but has continued to solicit co-conspirators to join in with them by their stopping the regular statements and later proclaiming that I changed my address or the mail came back as a means to block proof of debiting from my account.

My co-pays for medications have been as much as 48.00 to75.00 dollars and should have been 5.00 to 15.00 dollars. My employer hired a third party management company to manage business in the district but they left me off the list, I believe intentionally, so that they could further injure me. There's too much to tell here. But, I need help from an attorney who is truly interested in continuing my case. I can clearly see that the attorneys appear to have sold out on me, are stripping me every way I turn. I believe that if i settle they will drag out the case and tell me that i still owe them. Can someone tell me what to do? all of my cars have been vandalized. I have nowhere to turn.

By anon139925 — On Jan 06, 2011

currently blacklisted by a part-time pastor of all things. this odious little man says one thing to your face then the complete opposite on reference checks.

By anon136864 — On Dec 24, 2010

I am also in that boat but I refuse to sink. This is the best advice for me and everybody else: Pray about it. There really is a God and as my grandma says, "God don't like ugly."

By anon136703 — On Dec 23, 2010

Blackballing has been a very bad experience for me. I am currently unemployed and I have ran out of money. I can't even seek proper medical help. I believe there is something you can do. Everyone doesn't like to be controlled.

By anon134310 — On Dec 14, 2010

I work for an American company in the Middle East. I am harassed at least 10 times a day with noises, belittlement. I am in no doubt I am on a black list. My ex boss once stood up and told everybody he found two black balls in his car and was saving them for next year. Guess what? Next year they went for me.

I never get invited out, often get excluded from important meetings, have my work tampered with. I am finished. But I am not alone. Neither are you. We just won't get to meet. Think of me and I will think of you. Forget the corporate rat race.

By anon129884 — On Nov 25, 2010

People are definitely blackballed for pointing out wrongdoing in an organization as just one example. The government also compiles extensive databases on people's political viewpoints, what they post on Facebook, etc. All of this information can be sold to outside agencies or employers, even if your profile is "private."

I'd say that difficulty in finding employment is most definitely a sign of being blackballed. Yes, the economy is bad, but people ARE still getting jobs. For example, if your entire department was laid off and all of them have already found jobs and you haven't, you've probably been blackballed.

If you can't find work and you know that you angered one person (or more) in a work situation, and you think you are being blackballed, you probably are. Also watch for people who approach you and offer to be a reference without giving you a written recommendation. I'm very suspicious of anyone who volunteers to give a "great" reference but refuses to put it in writing.

By anon129022 — On Nov 21, 2010

I notice most of the posts say to do things like ignore it, move to another state, shine it on since they are the inept, etc, etc, etc. From what I can see today is that it is not just one company in one state that is in the minority. I think it is another dirty trick that is being conducted by business using databases and other methods to make just about everybody feel bad. Big business has other criteria than we do.

For instance, maybe they do not want anybody with 27 successful years of experience because they want young people that will work for less.

They also might be doing this to many to try to affect their Social Security. If they keep them out of work enough from the age of 55 to 69 then they won't get Social Security - surprise !They do have databases of people who are disabled, for instance, so that the government will know that they are actually disabled so that they can hire them (haha).

This database is shared with all companies that do government contracts as well as government agencies. So basically, it is open knowledge if you are disabled, and they don't want to hire them, for sure, for the most part.

How about if when you were young you were a social protester, say against the war in Vietnam? Would that put you on the terrorist watch list? Even if you do protest now they should not be allowed to do that.

So business and the government have been putting these databases together for years, so how do we know if or which ones they are using to categorize us. How can an ex-employer possibly give any kind of assessment - since you are not there anymore. If you were so good you would still be there.

What if corporations have criteria of how miserable has this person been, should we hire them or not. They only want people who have been continuously been employed or the young. It is all wrong. If you can do the job and have the credentials they should hire you. They also do not consider school to be important anymore, mainly so that they do not have to pay you better if you are educated. This is fascism where the ones they like become the bosses and the rest of us mean nothing, or are slaves. It is time to do something about this!

By anon123571 — On Nov 02, 2010

Blackballing happens. I wanted to see how other people are handling the frustration of a dedicated group of malicious and unethical people trying to destroy an innocent and ethical person. I see on some of these places some people thoughtlessly commenting, it's not really happening, it's just the economy, it's just your imagination, etc. Well, it would be nice to think evil doesn't exist in this world, but sadly, it does.

Blackballing does really happen. The person doing it to me right now is openly bragging about it - this is happening in the federal government, by the way (where I have an exemplary service record and excellent references).

By anon121102 — On Oct 23, 2010

Yes, there is something you can do and it is considered retaliatory conduct. Conduct your own reference check. I did and it can back with bad references. I took it to an attorney who said it was retaliation which also gives me an opportunity to go back and readdress other issues. Not that I want to but hey what the heck, fight back you have nothing to loose. I found a site online about getting bad references and used them.

By anon118243 — On Oct 13, 2010

I moved out of state, and the blackballing followed me there. there is not respite from being blackballed.

By anon118242 — On Oct 13, 2010

I believe I have been blacklisted from all potential job prospects, as well as the primary career field I worked in, especially in the state I live in.

I also believe that not only have I been blacklisted, I have also been listed as potential liability in terms of my medical history (I believe my medical privacy has been violated) and disability.

I also believe that, as a result of this blacklisting, I have also been socially blacklisted in the community I live in. It is affecting me in a horrible way. I am not a bad person. In fact, I was originally bullied out of my first real job and that it hasn't stopped and now it is spilling into my social life.

By anon113081 — On Sep 23, 2010

I have been without a job for two years. i feel my former employer is blacklisted me. I have 25 years experience in my profession only two interviews with a company and told that i had the best qualifications i just knew i had the job.

I have called twice to inquire and all they tell me is they have not made a decision. Well that's been almost two months so i know they won't be calling me back. What can I do to find out if I've been blacklisted? They have ruined my life. I lost everything and now i fear i will be homeless. Is there a law against this? Should I talk to a lawyer?

By NowhereMan — On Jul 29, 2010

I've been blackballed too and I worked for Revenue Canada. So much for those polite Canadians.

To be honest, I think the best thing to do is to do nothing. Nobody likes a whiner and a complainer. That's part of their plan, to turn you into the person that you're really not. Don't mention that you've been blackballed, and don't try to take legal action towards your employer. That's exactly what they want: to see if they could get under your skin.

They are serial bullies. As a matter of fact, they are the worst people around. They don't have lives; they are the scum of our society.

By anon91485 — On Jun 22, 2010

I loved the post asking me what am I going to do about it. Good question, and one I will ponder now. I have been black-balled and have been unemployed for nine months. I won't go down quietly, if at all. I will find a way to succeed without them and when I find success, I will let those jerks know I made it without them.

By anon83035 — On May 09, 2010

I have been a medical manager/administrator for 27 years with a very successful career until my last employer of 2.5 years, where I doubled his medical practice terminated me without warning and a complete surprise to me.

After receiving two $10k annual raises and seven $2 bonuses, I was fired because, I found out six months later in an EEOC hearing, of false and incorrect crap from an employee of mine who was out for my job and later was so named.

I was offered a severance agreement with terms to retain counsel. I did but before my attorney and I could respond to the offer it was rescinded.

Long story short, I have been unemployed now since 2008 for over 20 months and I can document 17 times where I was the top candidate until the respective potential employer did a reference check with this past physician/owner.

This physician denies any wrongdoing to my attorney. This physician is clever enough not to say anything to just anybody but will only say to another physician, "off-the-record". You and I both know that no physician would say anything to harm another physician.

So my career is finished in health care after 27 long and successful years.

By anon80049 — On Apr 26, 2010

I worked for the state of arizona in a program called ALTCS as a case manager. I filed a sexual harassment complaint against a female manager with HR and two months later was put on administrative leave.

I retained an attorney and came out of it with nothing. That was three years ago. I have not been able to gain employment since. I have called HR, pretending to be a potential employer doing an employment check but companies must be doing this via a letter.

I am devastated and ruined emotionally and financially and have no idea of what recourse I can take to stop this sort of thing. I have no idea why I just can't get back my life.

By anon76618 — On Apr 11, 2010

Almost seven years ago I was fired from a job, and the dept director told me point blank, he was going to blackball me.

I later was diagnosed with ADD and have been under treatment for it. I really want and now financially need to return to work. I have a professional license, without any stipulations or a negative history on it. I even faced a peer review, and it was determined my infractions were minor and not in need of reporting to the State Board. What can I do now?

By anon73067 — On Mar 25, 2010

My husband and I have been blackballed by the two medical centers in our small community because my husband has had six surgeries in 2 1/2 years and still has the same problem (Colon), as he had before, except now he has "congestive heart failure" due to the four surgeries, from Aug to Dec '09.

I had to have him life flighted to OHSU where I found in his past medical records sent with him that he was diagnosed with colon cancer and heart failure. We were never informed. When we asked about his Health, were just told I asked too many questions and he was doing fine!

Well for someone so fine, the last two surgeries put him in the hospital and Rehab Center for over two months. He was never referred to a cardiologist during his stay at rehab for almost two months, until we were going out the door to our home, five hours away. So we couldn't stay. We got home two days later and saw our Internist, whereupon we were informed he did not want us as patients anymore, because we had no trust in him, and were angry and asked too many questions.

All we wanted was to know what was going on with his health (heart). The next day we received two certified letters informing us we were banned from going to any of the center Internists anymore!

I called the other Center, trying to get us a doctor other than the ones who have put my husband in the condition he is now and was told because of the medical center's policy we couldn't change doctors for three years after last seeing the doctor we had had. So now we don't have a doctor.

I have epilepsy, so I can't drive, and our insurance will not cover taking us to a different hospital in another town. So our only choice is to be stuck with the same doctors we had, even though the first doctor left him constipated for 10 days,causing his colon rupture.

The second surgeon then sent him home after the third surgery with a bulb, bleeding, so he ended up in emergency surgery two days later, and was given six units of blood.

After his December surgery, his stomach ended blown up like a balloon. After another emergency surgery four days later to find the problem, he still had a blown up stomach and no answer as to why.

He stayed in a comatose state for 1 1/2 weeks, until I finally insisted he be life flighted to OHSU. His lungs were 2/3 full of fluid and now he had an enlarged heart due to it being half full of fluid.

It took over a week to drain the fluid and prevent pneumonia, or collapsed lungs. Plus one cardiologist said he would have to have a stent inserted. I didn't understand what that was so that's when I started asking questions, but was told that I asked too many questions.

Why? How else are we supposed to know? So now we are blackballed from the doctors here in town. What are they afraid of? I even had to stop the epilepsy support group I started two years ago in town, because I can't tell them to go to the doctor when I can't, so they don't or won't have any faith in me.

I hope this doesn't happen to someone else! By the way, the surgeon has three malpractice cases against him. One patient bled to death, another lost a limb due to bleeding, and I don't remember why now. And I thought only epileptics were discriminated against. Take heed, this can happen to you, too, but I hope not!

By anon70865 — On Mar 16, 2010

Yes, maybe you have been blackballed. Yes, it is devastating. Yes, you could, and quite possibly will, lose everything.

So the question would be, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to let some corporate puke get the better of you? Don't forget, that corporate piece of crap who blackballed you, well, even his wife, kids and family members hate his guts.

Imagine having to deal with the whole world hating your guts. Think about that one. Employed yes, but hated, hated, hated.

Buddy, at least you can move and start over, which is what I highly recommend, as once blackballed you are toast. Move away, and start over.

Leave the blackballing, ratting, bullying, snitching, lying, loser company to itself. They are a dime a dozen these days. And yes, don't worry, they'll get what they deserve someday. For someone who stands up for what they believe in, then you know that what goes around comes around.

By anon70009 — On Mar 11, 2010

I have top credentials from the area I grew up in, in my military unit I served in honorably, went to a top college bachelors program and did award winning work.

Then one day i butted heads with union members and ex-union members who became supervisors over coffee breaks and overtime. After that meeting i knew I was put on a downsizing list. Apparently it went farther than that, there's nothing i can do now to get another job. It's been nearly three years and I'm broke.

That last job destroyed my life, no doubt blackballed and put on a harassment list. My only happiness I can find (if you can call it that) is the knowledge that this thug organization is now in bankruptcy court. Served them right. This is what happens when you associate with losers. They say "you have to be careful who you hire." I say "You have to be careful who you work for."

My future is ruined and when people run out of extra money to help me I'll probably be homeless and they even joked about that to my face laughing. It's their goal. ~May~ they all burn in Hell.

By anon52226 — On Nov 12, 2009

I seem to have been blackballed by a previous employer in my area. It seems that I cannot find a job in my field of work. Every time I apply for a position in my line of work with a company, I never get called back. Even though I know I am experienced, I am just not getting called for interviews.

By pollick — On Sep 22, 2009

It may be very difficult to actually prove that a former employer has blackballed you. The fact that you may have difficulty finding employment now or rarely get called back for a second interview could simply be coincidental. Perhaps the only way to discover if you've been officially blackballed by a former boss is to have an informal chat with former co-workers privy to that kind of information. Did your former boss say anything negative about you or imply he or she would make your present job search difficult? Since blackballing in business is usually a private and informal practice, there really are no enforceable laws against it. You could focus your employment search on companies outside of your former employer's area, or you could look for a different line of work where potential employers would have no prejudices. If you're convinced a former employer has blackballed you, you could also discuss the issue openly with a potential employer and take your chances.

By anon43846 — On Sep 02, 2009

is there a way to find out if a previous employer has blackballed you? isn't blackballing illegal? how do you overcome that and find employment if you have been blackballed??

By anon42343 — On Aug 20, 2009

Blackballing is a destructive and painful practice. I have been victimized by my former employer who has managed to destroy me psychologically and financially. It is a devastating experience. Legal recourse seems impossible. Comments?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Historical Index, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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