What Can Employers Say About Former Employees

What Can Employers Say About Former Employees

If you are wondering what your employer is going to disclose to your current employer? You are not alone. It has always been one of the major concerns for all the job seekers. 

Your former employer indeed divulges information about you to potential employers, they may choose to share the following information with your potential employer. 

  1. Salary
  2. Designation & job responsibilities 
  3. Date of Joining
  4. Last date of employment
  5. Performance
  6. Reason of resignation/termination
  7. Details on disciplinary actions taken against you for violation of company rules and regulations
  8. Professional conduct
  9. Work ethics, etc.

While it is true that most companies have clear directives when it comes to revealing information about former employees. There is no law on what an employer can say or hide about a former employee. 

Ask your employer

It’s better to ask your employer what information they share in response to background verification or reference checks

While some large companies reveal basic information like job title, salary and the date of employment, other smaller companies can also talk about performance, disciplinary actions, reason of resignations, etc. 

You should ask your previous employer what it intends to share, and you may ask him to keep certain information secret. 

Although there isn’t a specific law prohibiting the former employer from sharing your employment details with your potential employer, a few states like Arkansas require employers to obtain a written consent of employees before responding to background verification requests. 

Employers take precautions 

No employers are allowed to share misleading or false information in response to an employee reference check request. It is assumed that the employer is acting in good faith and that occupational information, including opinions, is privileged. like If you were fired because your employer suspected that you had stolen from the company, although this has never been proved, your employer is prohibited from disclosing this information to a potential employer. After all, it is a false statement of fact.

Employers understand that sharing false or misleading information can attract defamation cases against the company. 

 To avoid liability in employment cases, employers adopt a set of HR policies and procedures that apply to all employees. For example, a company policy may require the employer to confirm the former employee’s work title and date of employment, or prohibit the employer from disclosing information about the employee’s performance or the reasons for his resignation. However, it is important to understand that such policies can be company-specific and not statutory.

To avoid the possibility of defamation lawsuits, many employers decline requests for specific information like performance records, reason of employment termination, etc. Instead, they opt for a policy that confirms the date of employment and the salary details. 

Many companies prohibit managers and supervisors from providing references information to control what information is made available to other employers.

You should be careful too

If you are concerned that a former employer may reveal too much about you, it may be in your best interest not to include them in the reference list that you make available to potential future employers. 

Also, you must not say anything that contradicts the information your previous employer is about to share with your potential employer. You know the result. 

What law says

Under most state laws, employers can disclose details about work performance, responsibilities, and professional behavior. Check the website of the state labor department for information about state labor laws that limit what employers can disclose about a former employee.