Should I Report Why I Fired A Former Employee?

Question:

I am one of the managers in a medium sized organization. I fired an employee in the past due to misbehavior. This was quite a long time ago. Now I am called from a recognized company to give reference about this past employee. And I am informed that this employee strongly needs an immediate job. I don2t know how to respond. Please help me. Thanks.

Signed,

At A Loss For Words


Answer:

DearĀ At A Loss For Words:

Many companies today are feeling the pinch of litigation which has resulted in providing only specific reference information such as (1) name of employee, (2) verification of job title and (3) length of service. I would recommend that you provide only the aforementioned information. You should not feel guilty or responsible if this individual does not get a job. It was their misbehavior and not yours. Even though you are protected by stating only verifiable factual information about misconduct, the cost of litigation by this former employee can be expensive. In fact, you are not required to provide any information to prospective employers. You need to discuss a policy regarding references with the management of your facility so that Human Resources can be fair, impartial and consistent with all ex-employees. Do not give John Doe a reference and then not give Jane Roe a reference. You must be consistent and an established policy can help you with this. Good luck.

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Dan Kearney