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Employment Verification/References California

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  • Employment Verification/References California

    Our company's policy on refernce checks and employment verification is that they are handled by headquarters and we only release name, title and dates of employment. Does this comply with California law?
    We recently terminated an employee and her spouse called to find the termination date and I told him. She had given her spouse a different (MORE RECENT DATE). I wouldn't release any other information to him, other than that the branch office was not closing. Did I say too much for CA law?

  • #2
    So far as I know, there are no limits in any state, even California, on release of employment information so long as it is accurate.

    However, I would not tell anyone calling in any information without a signed release from the employee (they can fax it to me pretty quickly and find me to be quite talkative after that).
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      No.

      It is a widely held myth as to how much you can say about a person that has left the company.

      However, telling the spouse is a situation you probably didn't need to be in the middle of. Next time, just say something like, "Sir, I really don't feel comfortable discussing this with you. You may either call HR at HQ or, better, ask your wife."

      It is not your job to give their marital strife a kickstart.
      Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

      I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

      Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

      Comment


      • #4
        In California, individuals have a constitutional right to privacy (Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution). Accordingly, it is best to be closed mouthed about confirming or denying anything about an employee unless the employee has given express authority for you to do so.
        Barry S. Phillips, CPA
        www.BarryPhillips.com

        IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

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