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Reference checking: ERKA and how employers should respond

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by Paul W. Coughenour, Clark Hill, Detroit

Releasing employment information about a former employee can be a dangerous and tricky situation. Most employers in Michigan routinely release only information confirming the former employee’s dates of employment, last position held and last rate of pay. But what if the employee authorizes the release of additional information, including disciplinary history?

Then it’s time to brush up on Michigan’s Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right to Know Act (ERKA). ERKA requires that you provide written notice to the employee by first-class mail on or before the day any disciplinary information is divulged, unless the information is for internal use by the employee’s employer or is going to a labor organization representing the employee.

There is one important exception: If the employee has specifically waived written notice as part of a written, signed employment application with another empl...(register to read more)

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