Is it legal for an old employer to send incorrect information to a current employer. Such as incorrect hire date and title?

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Is it legal for an old employer to send incorrect information to a current employer. Such as incorrect hire date and title?

I needed a background check for my current employer. I was contacted by my
current employer and told I needed to get proof of employed dates and a job
title. I asked for a copy to be sent to me and it has the incorrect dates of
employment and the wrong job title. Can HR send incorrect information?

Asked on January 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, while they do not need to send anything--there is no law requiring a former employer to verify employment or assist in background checks--if they do send something or reply, it must be factually correct. If it is not correct and it damages your reputation or interferes with you getting a job, then if the error is willful (intentional; and not correcting it after being told of the mistake may be willful), it may constitute defamation and/or tortious (i.e. wrongful) interference with economic advantage. It is not the initial, presumably innocent mistake that is potentially liable, but the willful refusal to fix that error. So if they are going to send out a reply, they must be accurate; and if the initially err, they must then fix it.


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