Employer declined to used as reference

Can an employer decline you for asking him/her as your reference after working for many years?

Asked on July 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An ex-employer is under no legal obligation to give a former employee a reference. While unprofessional, it is legal. That is so long as such an action does not violate the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, it must not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. is not due to your race, religion age (over 40) , gender, diisability, etc.).

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