I work for HCA and recently applied for a job with another healthcare system. When that company called to get a reference check through human resources they were referred to a 900 number which requires a $20 fee to verify employment. When they called my department, they were told that HCA policy would not allow them to give a reference, all references go through human resources. I am an employee in good standing, I have not missed a day of work since I have been there and I met or exceeded expectations on my last performance review. I have requested that my department head will provide a personal reference, but at this point it is out of my control. I know my department does not want me to leave. What else can I do? I feel trapped and powerless now because the reference is standing in the way of another job.