Employer Job References

Is Your Employer Required to Give a Job Reference?

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In the following educational legal video, one of our experienced employment lawyers near West Seneca, Andrew P. Fleming discusses your eob references from an employer.

A few times each year I get a call from someone who says, “My employer gave a negative reference about me to another employer. I was terminated by the XYZ company and, when I applied to the ABC company, XYZ gave me a negative job reference.” The area of job references is one with which I’m very familiar. Interestingly, an employer does not have to give a job reference on a former employee at all. If an employer is contacted and asked, “What can you tell me about Mary Smith?” The employer is allowed to say, “I have nothing to say about Mary Smith.” In and of itself, that can be a negative reference. It’s not illegal or actionable to give a negative reference.

Most employers these days, however, do not do that. If it’s a large company, a caller will be passed through to the Human Resources Department where the person who receives the call will read a script that says something like, “It is not our company’s practice to speak on former employees. We will simply say that Ms. Smith worked for us for four years, and her employment came to an end in November of 2016.” That’s all they’ll say and that’s not illegal. Now, false references are a different story. False statements constitute defamation. In the workplace, the issue of defamation can come up because, if someone gives a false reference about someone else, they can be sued.

The experienced employment lawyers near West Seneca at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP have extensive experience in aggressively representing the rights of employees in all kinds of workplace disputes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let our experience work for you.

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