I am the accounting manager and HR person in our office. A lady called me and wanted to know the termination date of a former employee. I asked who was calling and she didn’t want to give her name or organization. Am I legally allowed to give out termination dates to anyone who calls or asks?

Posted  07-02-2014

Ann Kiernan replies:

As a general rule, you shouldn’t give information to someone who refuses to identify herself or tell you why she was inquiring, so you showed good judgment here.

As far as I am aware, responding to a reference check with truthful information about the dates of employment is legal in every state, even those like Minnesota, which have statutes strictly regulating the information that employers can release even without the employee’s consent. (See Minnesota Statutes section 181.967, for example)

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.