Damn Lawyers, damn lawyers, damn lawyers

Subject: Damn Lawyers, damn lawyers, damn lawyers
From: Guy McDonald <guym -at- DAKA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 16:58:41 -0800

Geoff Hart brought up several good openings on the certification
discussion. I noticed that Dan Martillotti focused on experience criteria
in the hiring process. My take from Geoff's point is somewhat different,
and I believe it deserves attention by employers.

Geoff's idea:

> 2. Identify (through the employer?) what the candidate's
> role was in producing the work.

My note: BEWARE of "damn lawyers". In my home state (Washington), an
employer can be sued for information that he/she provides during a referral

After discussing this several years ago with my "damn lawyer", it was
decided that I would only provide:

1. individual employment data (i.e., his/her length of employment)
2. method of departure by the individual (terminated or quit)
3. whether I would:

a. hire the individual again
b. not hire the individual again

Until I see otherwise, this advice from my damn lawyer will prevent:

a. lawsuits by disgruntled employees
b. inappropriate and/or unethical comments by myself

I would like to know if other states hold similar protection to the job
hunter against former employer referrals. Perhaps this is a spin-off of
the Privacy Act? More than likely, some employee set precedence by
litigating a similar complaint. To many of you this is old news, but
considering the ramifications it warrants exposure again. And as a side
note, the idea of forming committee's to initially certify/license a
technical writer would make my damn lawyer's wallet bulge even more. To
that I say............ "to hell with the damn lawyers"

Guy McDonald
guym -at- daka -dot- com

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