One of the quickest ways to get into reference trouble is to agree to provide information on a former employee and then offer up incorrect or misleading statements.
If you stick with the basic facts, your reference policy is unlikely to get you into legal trouble. But watch out! Giving a favorable reference on a former employee who performed (or behaved) poorly can be extremely risky.
If you must provide information, stick with easily verifiable facts such as dates of employment and positions held. That’s true even if the former employee provides a release authorizing you to give a more detailed reference. The release may protect you from defamatory remarks should the employee sue, but it won’t protect you from misleading statements that a third party relies on.
Recent case: Dr. Robert Berry lost his job as an anesthesiologist when shareholders of his practice terminated him for working while impaired by prescrip...(register to read more)
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