Can potential employers contact my place of work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can potential employers contact my place of work?

I submitted my resume to a restaurant and apparently the manager knows the manager where I currently work, which is listed on my resume. So he contacted him and asked about me, based off not hearing back from them. I’m guessing it didn’t go well. Is it legal for him to contact my employer without my

permission or knowledge?

Asked on August 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Of course they can do this: any person can contact any other person, including a potential employer contacting your current employer, unless they agreed contractually (i.e. in writing, as part of the job application process) to not contact your current employer. A job applicant otherwise, if there is no agreement to the contrary, has no control over who a possible employer contacts, and that is one of the risks or problems with seeking new job while still employed--while in many ways it is better (conventional wisdom is you are more likely to be successful in finding a new job while still employed), there is always the risk of the new job contacting the old and suffering consequences from that.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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