Legality of employer references
June 9, 2004 10:54 PM Subscribe
Is it true that it's illegal for an employer to give an employee a reference beyond confirming that the person worked for the company over a certain period of time?
posted by bonheur to law & government (25 answers total)
I work for a small, family-owned retail store. When people apply to work there, the job application form asks for three work references. My boss (the owner) insists that she can't call the references because they are forbidden by law from telling her anything useful, and therefore it's a waste of time. Consequently, several recent hires who seemed nice at first turned out to be very bad employees. I think that if someone lists a reference on their job application, they are giving us permission to contact that person and gather information about them. Is my boss right? How can we make good, educated hiring decisions without references?