Immunity for Employers Providing Employment References

Reference & Background Investigations
Recruiting & Hiring

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Many employers are apprehensive about responding to requests for job references because of a concern that they may face significant legal risks associated with certain types of disclosures. Consequently, these employers typically adopt the policy of providing only the current or former employee’s dates of employment, thereby protecting themselves from the risk of incurring defamation claims.

On the other hand, responding to references is important because of the increase in violence in the workplace. Failure to pass on certain information concerning an individual’s propensity to violence to a prospective employer may expose the current/former employer to a negligent referral lawsuit. How should an employer both minimize legal risk with disclosure yet avoid negligent referral claims?

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