Can I call a former employer and ask them for a guy’s attendance record? What days he missed in the past 2 or 3 months, what days he left early, and what time he left? I am thinking about hiring this guy but he was fired for missing days.

Rita Risser Chai replies:

Employers are allowed to call former employers for references. Many employers don’t give references because they are worried about being sued by the former employee if he doesn’t get the job, but there is nothing wrong with asking these questions. In fact, it sounds like it’s likely to get very useful, job-related information. For example, if the former employer fired the guy because he was 5 minutes late 10 times, but you allow your employees reasonable leeway as long as they get the work done, you would want to know that. The only potential concern is if he was missing work due to a disability or family medical leave, you would not want to base your decision on that. Good luck.

Posted 09-23-2019

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