Must we give rejected applicant a copy of a negative reference letter?

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Q. We request references from applicants’ former or current employers. Recently, an applicant (who was not hired) requested a copy of his former employer’s reference letter, which indicated that the applicant was difficult to work with and performed poorly. The letter was one of the factors considered when we decided not to hire him. Must we turn over the letter (or any other part of our file on the applicant)?

A. Under the Indiana blacklisting statute, your company is required, upon written request, to give the applicant copies of any written communications from former employers that may affect the possibility of employment with your company.

Applicants have 30 days from the date of the application to make the written request. Thus, if the applicant has waited more than 30 days from the date he applied, you are not legally required to provide copies of the reference letter.

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