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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,521
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

A neighbor of ours got herself into a pickle!

 

She was informed yesterday to hire legal consult.  She gave a phone reference for a former employee where she works and now the former employee is suing.

 

He (the former employee) feels that the reference caused him to lose a job offer.

 

The company and my neighbor have both been named in the lawsuit.  Her employer told her that providing the reference was not in the scope of her position so she is on her own.

 

Even I know (and I am NOT in HR or legal) that the ONLY info to be provided in a reference check is:

-Did they work there? yes or no

-When did they work there? dates

-Position held

 

Any other info can be liable.

 

I offered her sympathy and luck, but I think she is going to have some legal expenses. !!

Now-a-days you have to be careful.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,623
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Most places I worked for would only say when they started & left, nothing negative for that reason. DH took a new position several years ago & they don't have an HR Dept so he pretty much has to try & deal with that. He came home from work one day telling me about a reference he gave on a loser that was working there. I told him you are probably in a heap of $&*! over that. I said you cannot say that. He said why not the guy is worthless. Nothing ever happened. He was lucky. Sometimes he would show up & sometimes he would not. He worked fueling planes on an AFB & told the pilots his son had leukemia so he could collect patches. That is so low. Nothing wrong with his son.  I told DH he better not be doing that again. Hope your neighbor makes it out of this one ok. Not sure what she said. That will make all the difference in what happens.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,521
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

@Nightowlz wrote:

Most places I worked for would only say when they started & left, nothing negative for that reason. DH took a new position several years ago & they don't have an HR Dept so he pretty much has to try & deal with that. He came home from work one day telling me about a reference he gave on a loser that was working there. I told him you are probably in a heap of $&*! over that. I said you cannot say that. He said why not the guy is worthless. Nothing ever happened. He was lucky. Sometimes he would show up & sometimes he would not. He worked fueling planes on an AFB & told the pilots his son had leukemia so he could collect patches. That is so low. Nothing wrong with his son.  I told DH he better not be doing that again. Hope your neighbor makes it out of this one ok. Not sure what she said. That will make all the difference in what happens.


I was afraid to ask what she said about him!  

 

Your husband was lucky Smiley Happy

 

People are so quick to sue. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎04-24-2011

My cousin was an HR Manager, and she told me those were the only questions that were allowed to be asked as well, but I have been the reference for some of my co-workers and I've been asked more than that. Giving a reference, I remember the first question asked to me was why the person left the job. I told her I wasn't working for the company when it happened (which was the truth), but in the back of my head, I was thinking, "You're not supposed to ask me that." I also remember a company doing a background check on me, and one of my references called me to let me know that they called her and they were asking questions like, "What's my middle name?" A company like that should have known not to ask questions like that.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,640
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I haven't worked in 27 years and even I know all you can tell them is dates worked and position held.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,137
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@Abrowneyegirl wrote:

A neighbor of ours got herself into a pickle!

 

She was informed yesterday to hire legal consult.  She gave a phone reference for a former employee where she works and now the former employee is suing.

 

He (the former employee) feels that the reference caused him to lose a job offer.

 

The company and my neighbor have both been named in the lawsuit.  Her employer told her that providing the reference was not in the scope of her position so she is on her own.

 

Even I know (and I am NOT in HR or legal) that the ONLY info to be provided in a reference check is:

-Did they work there? yes or no

-When did they work there? dates

-Position held

 

Any other info can be liable.

 

I offered her sympathy and luck, but I think she is going to have some legal expenses. !!

Now-a-days you have to be careful.


 

 

Is is your neighbor in the HR dept at the company? Then she can be held liable. If she was a previous coworker and gave a bad reference then she may be ok. As long as she said it is her opinion and backs it up with facts about that person. He will have to prove in court that the company he interviewed with for the job told him it was indeed that particular reference your neighbor gave for the reason they did not make a job offer. 

 

Usually companies don't give reasons why they don't make an offer to a candidate. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,521
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

@BabyYoda wrote:

 

Is is your neighbor in the HR dept at the company? Then she can be held liable. If she was a previous coworker and gave a bad reference then she may be ok. As long as she said it is her opinion and backs it up with facts about that person. He will have to prove in court that the company he interviewed with for the job told him it was indeed that particular reference your neighbor gave for the reason they did not make a job offer. 

 

Usually companies don't give reasons why they don't make an offer to a candidate. 


No she is not in HR she was his manager/supervisor.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,021
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

@Abrowneyegirl wrote:

A neighbor of ours got herself into a pickle!

 

She was informed yesterday to hire legal consult.  She gave a phone reference for a former employee where she works and now the former employee is suing.

 

He (the former employee) feels that the reference caused him to lose a job offer.

 

The company and my neighbor have both been named in the lawsuit.  Her employer told her that providing the reference was not in the scope of her position so she is on her own.

 

Even I know (and I am NOT in HR or legal) that the ONLY info to be provided in a reference check is:

-Did they work there? yes or no

-When did they work there? dates

-Position held

 

Any other info can be liable.

 

I offered her sympathy and luck, but I think she is going to have some legal expenses. !!

Now-a-days you have to be careful.


Are you sure? I thought if the information the employer provides is without malice and is true that it is fine. 

 

Often employers are overly cautious. A former employee needs the former employer to provide more information to the potential employer and the former employer is reluctant to provide it. 

 

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/what-can-employers-legally-say/article.a...

_____ ,,,^ ._. ^,,,_____
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,521
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Side note:

 

A lot of companies (including the one I work for) now CHARGE for a reference check.

You are directed to a number or website where you pay $22.00 for an automated service to confirm a candidate's previous employment and dates.

 

 For large companies reference requests are a waste of valuable time and has potential liabilities, so technology fixed that!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,443
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I left a job yrs ago for health reasons. I had issues with my old boss that were causing me so much stress it became intolerable so I turned in my notice and left. 

 

I hired a reference checking company. For what I considered a small fee they called my last 3 employers. They not only reported to me what was said but HOW it was said. Worth every penny.