How to Handle Negative Reviews from Former Employees

Jackie Ulasewich


You’re a conscientious business owner, so you make sure your reviews—good and bad—are handled swiftly and appropriately. You’re looking through your most recent Google reviews when you see a scathing review from… wait! Him? Are you serious? 

You already know how to handle a negative review from a patient. But what happens when a disgruntled ex-employee blasts your practice online? Sure, you can brush it off on a personal level. However, having a current or prospective patient read a diatribe from someone who used to work for you can harm you professionally.

Good News from Google

Until recently, Google My Business offered little protection when it came to negative reviews from former employees. According to Joy Hawkins of Search Engine Land, though, things have finally changed. 

While the Google My Business policies page specified that reviews had to be an accurate representation of a customer’s experience and there could be no conflict of interest, there was no specific language pertaining to former employees. This meant that regardless of the circumstances of their dismissal—persistent absenteeism, patient complaints, or even coming to work under the influence—former employees could say whatever they wanted. Of course, you could always respond as you would with a negative patient review, but the chances of resolution in these cases were slim to none.

The new policies (updated in December 2017) specify that reviews left by a former employee are considered a conflict of interest. What does this mean to you? Google will remove the review upon your request.

The Process 

Reviews are now handled through Google Maps. Once you’ve located your business, flag the post and indicate that it is considered a conflict of interest. While the process takes days, once Google determines that your request is warranted, it will remove the review. What about the people who see the review while you wait for Google to evaluate your claim? That’s where persistent reputation management plays a role. 

If you consistently solicit reviews from your happy patients, an occasional negative review from an employee or a patient shouldn’t do much harm. When reviews roll in regularly, the positive ones will shine brighter for all to see. 

The takeaway? You can now finally petition for the removal of reviews from former employees. If you are diligent with your reputation management, however, you won’t need to worry about the potential damage that a negative review might cause.   

With more than a decade of experience in corporate dental laboratory marketing and brand development, Ms. Ulasewich decided to take her passion for the dental business and marketing to the next level by founding My Dental Agency. Since starting her company, she and her team have helped a wide variety of business owners all over the nation focus their message, reach their target audience, and increase their sales through effective marketing campaigns. She can be reached at (800) 689-6434 or via email at

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