Originally Posted by goinggreen123
No not necessarily but my customers do deserve me and I deserve them. Since I have left I have people approaching me telling me I am stupid for not trying to customers from the company cause their yards look like **** now. Is it illegal for me to talk badly or actually tell the truth about the other company like they have illegal immigrants working for them and they are paying half their employees under the table and they are shorting the yard to make more of a profit? I am going to do this one way or the other I just dont want to land into court or jail for anything illegal.
Here's your major issue.
"illegal?" no you cant be arrested for it. But you could be held liable/slanderous for things you say.
as a general rule, keep business clean. don't trash a former employer, focus on how your business is going to do X or Y. Speak in generic terms like "we strive to hire only local employees" rather than saying "Company Z hires illegals"
On the subject of "illegal" workers, it IS illegal for an employer to bar employment to minorities he "thinks" might be illegal. As long as the employees fill out their I-9s, sign them and produce 'valid' paperwork, the company is free to hire them. It is NOT the responsibility, OR the ABILITY of the employer to scrutinize or legitimize the said proof of identity of the worker. That duty falls on the government. as long as the company fills out all their paperwork, they are good. Profiling or refusing employment to someone they think might be illegal, could get them in a lot of trouble.
So saying "they hire illegals" is only true for companies that a) pay cash to said illegals and b) dont keep records of these employees even existing. If a company is doing that, yes it's illegal. but you are speaking of a "big" company, I somehow think they are very likely to have every T-crossed and every I-dotted on every single I-9 they have on every single employee.
With that in mind, stating the former employer, employs illegals is a false statement, and can be used as a basis to sue you.
So in the long run, it's better to focus on not saying anything derogatory about them and try to say almost nothing about that company if you can. Try to act like they don't exist.
If you DO have to discuss work being done, or past work of the former company. speak of them in a generic term:
"Mrs. Jones, what do you not like about your current services, and what can I do to make your new service better?"
"Mr. Smith, are you happy with your current lawn services? If you are not, may I provide you with a quote for replacement services I believe would better suit your needs?"