Can an employer refuse to verify the employment of an employee?

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Can an employer refuse to verify the employment of an employee?

My employer refuses to verify the employment of any of it’s employees. Several of us have lost opportunities because of this policy. Is it legal?

Asked on July 29, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is completely legal. An employer is under no obligation whatsover to verify an employee's employment (or, for that matter, to provide a recommendation or reference). While it's not the norm to not verify, it's not all that uncommon either--saying anything to a third party could potentially give rise to liability, if the employee either does something wrong (and the employer is blamed on the grounds that what it said caused the new party to give the employee the opportunity), or if what the employer verifies is not what the employee claimed his or her employment was (in which case, the employee may try to sue for defamation). While these problems don't happen that often, the only way to be 100% safe is to not say anything at all.

If all you need to do is verify the fact of employment (and possibly your salary), try using pay stubs to prove it.


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