Written Reprimands

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors:

Do written reprimands in HR files affect an employee’s future career opportunities outside of the company who issued the reprimand?

Signed, More than Just Wondering

Dear More than Just Wondering:

Our site answers communication-related workplace questions, with the exception of legal and medical. It is best that you send this kind of question to a Human Relations site or if really concerned that you seek the counsel of an attorney. I think as a general rule, employers are cautious about sending negative information about a former employee or one still employed who is searching for another place of work.

Employers are warned not to give out personal information such sites such as Legal Match state that a “new employer may not ask for personal information about you that is not job-related, and your former employer may not give any of that same information. Personal information can include anything about race, religion, ethnic origin, age, disability status, marital status, sexual orientation, or parenting responsibilities.”

More particularly to your question, this same site addresses your concern: “What Can a Former Employer Legally Put on My Job Reference that Could be Potentially Damaging to My Chances of Getting the New Job? “Your former employer is allowed to put any truthful information about your work performance at your previous job, whether it is positive or negative. Your former employer can also refuse to answer any questions asked by your new employer on the job reference form. This can be damaging when compared with a reference by another job candidate in which the former employer gave positive answers to those questions neglected by your former employer.” http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/references-from-previous-employers.html

Employees, who have not committed serious errors, should have little to worry about what will be said on their exit. The best practice is to add to a reprimand with one’s on explanation or better still to live down what was wrong by re-earning the goodwill and a positive evaluation. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and by that I don’t mean that an employee never falls short of a company’s expectations, but that they can be considered insignificant if one’s attitude and performance are positive.

William Gorden