Can you give employment verifications on the phone?

Question: “How should employment verifications be handled when an employee is applying for credit, as well as those in which a debt collection agency is tracking down an individual? Can the verification be made over the phone or should it be requested in writing?” — Margaret Williams


Should definitely come in writing. Anyone could call over the phone and records should always be kept!

It should be in writing. Our company only allows certain people in Personnel/Payroll to complete them.

Interview Bootcamp D

I never gave out and HR information over the phone (8 yrs. experience in HR). Each company I worked with either had a procedure in place or I put a procedure in place that required a written request for employment verification. I had a form that I could complete then fax or email with the information we would give out. No other information was given. I also made sure I had a copy of the request in my records.

I would not give any information of this nature out over the phone, anyone needing employment verification is welcome to submit their request in writing. It is too hard to determine by phone if they are a legitimate agency, legitimately seeking information.

I am very lucky in than my company offers an electronic line that provides a pin number that employees can give out to entities that need employment verification.

Definitely in writing with the employee’s signature authorizing you to give that information.

The only information I give over the phone are employment dates.

Definitely in writing — either snail mail or fax — with a signature from the employee authorizing release of the information.

Always in writing. You never know who is calling to request the information. And usually you will need a signed release from the employee to give the information.

I will give information over the telephone, but before doing so, they need to fax the signed authorization to release information. I also get the company name and the caller’s extension, and then call the number in the phone book (or directory) for that company. This assures it is not an attorney or even a friend of the person calling to see if we are saying bad things about them. Illinois law gives Illinois businesses the right to give details beyond date & pay as long as we have documentation to support what we are saying.

In writing and the company asking should have no problem with that or there is something wrong. Even if they could just fax it over to you is better than the phone

Our policy is no information about an employee unless we have a signed release from the employee. Our policy is we cannot give any information out including if they are working for us unless we have the signed release. If an employee is applying for something they will submit a letter to us in writing that it is ok to release information about them.

Whenever I get a call for any type of verification, I alway consult with the employee first and see if they want me to verify the information. I just never voluntarily give it out.

Check company policy on this very touchy issue. My employer asks that all such inquiries be forwarded to personnel. A trained individual will handle.

The ability to take “good” minutes presupposes that the meeting was commensurately “good;” i.e. decisions were made, updates were given succinctly. Not the case in my shop where people drone on and the only decision is to meet again.

Our company policy is that for anyone requesting information outside of our institution we will ONLY verify previous employment dates. We do not and can not provide any other details related to whether or not the employee was fired, quit, or any rehire status. Check with your state as well, as some states (if not all) it is against the law.

At my workplace all employment verification calls are referred to one person in HR, and then the only info we provide is dates of employment.