Retail Exec Sues Best Buy Over Job Reference

January 29, 2008 ( - A New Jersey retail executive has sued electronic retailer Best Buy in federal court over allegations the company fired him and then effectively blackballed him interfering with his attempts to get another job.

Plaintiff Michael Oliveri, 47, said he concluded that the company effectively interfered with his ability to find employment after job offers at retailers Circuit City and Target were abruptly terminated. Oliveri was fired from Best Buy in August 2006.

Oliveri explained in his lawsuit that he sent Best Buy a fake e-mail message – presenting it as if it were from Target – asking for a candidate reference about himself. According to the suit, his message prompted a reply from Ann McCafferty, a Best Buy district human resources manager, who advised “Just don’t hire him and say you went with a better candidate.”

McCafferty also advised: “I will give you the skinny on him but you can’t say you got any info from best Buy or we can be sued,” according to the complaint. McCafferty’s response went on to include negative remarks and personal rumors about Oliveri.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said a Best Buy spokesman told the newspaper McCafferty now works at Best Buy corporate headquarters in Minnesota where the suit is being reviewed.

The lawsuit is here .