Leaving a place of employment and seeking another position typically requires presenting a set of references to the potential new employer. Many people are under the impression that a previous employer can only disclose the dates of employment and job title. The residents of Indiana may be interested to learn that in many cases, prior employers are not willing to provide positive feedback, which can prevent the former employee from getting hired at a new job.
In many states, the employers are not required to provide any references at all. This method of retaliation may become burdensome when applying for public assistance or unemployment. It may also inhibit the chances of obtaining a new position due to inability to check references by the hiring entity. On many occasions, wrongful termination plays a major role why the former employer refuses to provide favorable references for the employee who has been discharged.
On the other side of the spectrum, some of the states, including Indiana, require that employers provide the former members of the company with a letter with specific information. In many states, the employers are allowed to discuss the employee's performance, and the information provided may also include distinctive details about daily and overall operations while being employed with the company.
Before beginning another search for a new job, it is advisable to find out how a former employer is planning on representing its view in case of potential requests for references. Some employers are willing to negotiate a neutral reference agreement upon dismissal. It is important to have the contract properly drawn before leaving, assuring that in case of inquiries, only the dates and job title will be disclosed without discussing the overall performance. A lawyer with good knowledge of the employment law may be able to offer legal help and guidance through the process.
Source: AOL Jobs, "Can My Employer Trash Me In References?", Donna Ballman, November 26, 2013