Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, August 15, 2014
First, I will say that you losing your job under the circumstances you described sounds like retaliation by the company. The companies with the highest degree of integrity have official policies that prohibit any kind of retaliation. The fact that this company terminated you in this fashion speaks to their integrity, or lack thereof. That being said, there are many other options that you can utilize to provide professional references for you. If you happen to be involved in any professional organizations, your peers here can be used as references. Also, if you are involved in any volunteer activities, you can use colleagues from these activities. Such references can speak to your character. But also keep in mind, that past references may not even be necessary from some companies. If your time at your previous company comes up in an interview, it is important to be up front and honest about the situation, and speak to it from your perspective. This too will speak your character.