Legally can I reveal a former employee’s attendance record to a prospective employer, ie: absent 25/180 days, 15 no call/ no show. Second, are performance reviews allowed to be shared with potential employers?

Rita Risser replies:

First of all, if your company prohibits managers from giving references, follow company policy. Assuming they don’t, legally anything you say that prevents a person from getting a job can be grounds for them to sue you personally. So you want to make sure that anything you say you could prove is true in a court of law, and does not violate their right to privacy. The attendance record seems pretty safe to share with prospective employers. It is objective, kept in the ordinary course of business. Performance reviews are questionable, in my opinion. I think an employee could say that they have an expectation the reviews themselves are private. But it is certainly a time-honored practice for managers to tell prospective employers about the strengths and weaknesses of former employees. Again, it is possible to get sued even if what you say is true, so the questions to ask yourself is how big is the risk the employee would sue, and is it worth the risk.

Posted 09-13-2016

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