What are some things employers can say about former employees in references?


Quick Answer

The information that employers can disclose about former employees is regulated by state law, and varies from state to state. Most states allow information about job performance to be disclosed, at a minimum.

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Full Answer

Most states expressly allow disclosure of job performance. Connecticut restricts this to some degree under the general heading of "truthful statement of any facts." Florida, Missouri, Montana and Massachusetts only allow the reason for termination without an opinion on job performance, but certain facts may be disclosed in Florida, such as any disciplinary actions. Other information that is sometimes disclosed is length of employment, pay grade, a description of job duties, promotions and demotions. This information is usually restricted to prospective employers and the current or former employee in question.

States not only vary in what information may be disclosed, but in how it is disclosed as well. Certain information must be provided in writing in certain states. Some states also have a "statute of limitations" of sorts on disciplinary actions, not allowing them to be reported to future employers after a certain number of years. Laws also vary on whether the employer has to provide an employee with a written statement regarding the reasons for his termination, and whether this is automatic or only done upon request of the employee.

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