What are the laws regarding what a past employer can tell when a future employer calls?

Please also include where you found this information. Thanks

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Federal law prohibits medical information to be released. The rest is up to the state, and may vary.

    As a background investigator, I can tell you company policy is much stricter than any legal guidelines. Many employers simply confirm the person was employed there. I've had a couple hand me a file, tell me to look through it, but refuse to comment for liability reasons.

    Source(s): 17 years law enforcement
  • 1 decade ago

    A past employer may make any statement about a former employee it wants, including opinions of your work performance, as long as it does not rise to the level of legal defamation.

    Defamation is defined by individual state statutes. But, in most states, in the context of a former employer giving a reference to a prospective employer, defamation requires the communication of a false statement, made with malicious intent.

    It just so happens that companies would rather not deal with training their HR department personnel about all the legalities of defamation, so they play it the safe and easy way, and simply release only dates of employment, and whether eligible for rehire.

  • 5 years ago

    Most previous employers will confirm dates of employment and maybe last job title. Because of legal concerns, they will not usually provide an additional information.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you signed a "release of information" giving the new employer permission to discuss your work history with your previous employer(s), sky is the limit. If the new employer hands you the release but you do not sign it, you more than likely will not get hired.

    Catch 22.

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  • Glen B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Most states have laws and ethical guidelines preventing a former employer speaking negatively of a person.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your past employer can only give objective information about you. Your dates of employment, what your title and job duties were and whether you are eligible for rehire. They cannot give subjective information about you, i.e. whether you were a "good" employee.

    Source(s): Former Human Resources Director for a national health care company.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Only that you did work there, And if asked, would they hire you back?

    They can not reveal the reason you left.

    Usually if the answer is no, the new job will look at your application a little closer and probably ask you a lot of questions.

    Source(s): former business owner
  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on your state.

    Time to visit Google.

    *We dont know where you live, so we cant magically tell you the laws in your state, you have to do the research yourself.*

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They may legally say anything true or they believe to be true

    Source(s): www.laborlawtalk.com
  • Lane
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well, if they know each other or if there is some connection, they can tell each other anything. I live in Louisiana where everyone talks.

    Source(s): Life in Louisiana.
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