References- Just the facts

Subject: References- Just the facts
From: Tony Rocco <tony_rocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 11:28:53 -0800

Subject: Time: 11:12 AM
OFFICE MEMO References: Just the facts Date: 12/29/95

In the discussion of certification, another very important issue has been
touched on: references. I just read in the SF Chronicle this morning about a
case in which an employer was held responsible for the sexual misconduct of a
former employee for whom they had given a very good reference. The upshot of
the case is that employers can now get in trouble not only for saying bad
things about former employees (defamation) but for saying good things and
omitting bad things (fraud or negligence) by failing to mention information
they knew or *should* have known about the former employee's conduct,
performance, or behavior.

The long-term consequence may be that employers do more of what many do now:
refuse to give out anything but the most basic information about a former
employee. This will be a harmful development for employers and employees
alike, in my judgment. Any way around it?

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