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How do you handle requests for employee information?

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

Should we give out employee information (wage data, demographic information, etc.) to anyone who calls to request it? I suspect we need a policy for handling these situations, but—short of calling a lawyer—I don't know how to figure out what it should say. Do any of you have rules on how to handle such calls?—Pam J.

See responses below

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert M. August 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

No information, not even whether they even work for us, unless they have a written authorization from the employee, or an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or are an investigating law enforcement agency.


Mary August 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Your employees are entitled to their privacy. Don’t verify any information – including that the person even works for you or worked for you previously – without a signed and dated release by the individual in question. And make sure that the date on the release is RECENT. Don’t accept a release that is 3 years old, for example. Most of the requests you’ll receive are legitimate – car loans, home loans, etc. But some are – unfortunately – identity thieves. Or worse, stalkers. Be cautious and protect your employees’ privacy. Would you want YOUR private information given out without YOUR signed authorization?


Violet July 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Our policy is as follows: all verification must take place via fax or email so that communications in both directions are documented. Release of information signed by the employee must be provided. Only dates of employment and position are provided unless the verification is for credit or public assistance purposes.


Liz July 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

A policy that we enacted was to only provide date of hire, date of termination, and position.


Roni July 20, 2010 at 3:09 pm

If there is no court order, we make sure the person asking for the information provides a release signed by the employee.


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