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North Carolina law allows honest answers to reference requests

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in Firing,Human Resources

Employers often worry when they respond to requests for an em­­ployee reference. They assume if they aren’t upbeat and positive, they may end up liable if the employee doesn’t get the job. Fortunately, that’s seldom a worry if you are honest, aren’t out to “get” the employee and never volunteer any information without first being asked.

Consider, for example, the North Carolina law that “prohibits a former employer from “prevent[ing] or attempt[ing] to prevent, by word or writing of any kind, [a] discharged employee from obtaining employment with any other person, company or corporation.” (N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-355) Employers that violate the statute are guilty of a misdemeanor and “liable in penal damages” in a civil action.

That certainly sounds scary and might be enough to dissuade some employers from providing any reference, much less a negative one.

Don’t worry. The law does not prohibit employers from providing “a truthf...(register to read more)

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