Is this common practice?

Nurses General Nursing


I am a new grad lpn (June) and some of the places where I applied asked me to sign a waiver allowing previous employers to release more information than dates of hire/release, etc. Is this common practice or a slick way to circumvent the law? :stone


112 Posts

Common practice, I just sign them. In the last three years and about 4 jobs I have yet to have an emplyer check my past work history or references ...


36 Posts

I worked for with the HR department of Wellmark/BCBS and I've never heard of this. That's odd. To my knowledge, it's against regulated codes (according to the Better Business Bureau) for employers to release any other information other than your DI's.

Perhaps you should contact the B3 and see if that's an allowance. Here's a link to the B3 Location site where you can find a B3 branch near you.

Good question, medmama.


112 Posts

Here in Arkansas all the employers use those forms (at least all the ones I've worked for, and thats a lot lol) all the Agencies I've worked for use them, including the travel ones.

I don't see how its against the law since when you are signing you are releasing your past employer of liability, you are basically saying its okay for them to release info about your work performance etc.


36 Posts

Agreed. If you're willing to sign it in order to get the job than I guess one should be prepared to have their history checked thouroughly. I guess one should only have an issue with signing it if they have a history of mistakes or some sort. And I'm sure you, medmama will have no problem whatsoever! :)

Good point, chad75!


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

Yes, it is very common practice, all but universal--and doesn't actually protect past employers if they would release negative information with malice or give harmful incorrect information (though you would be challenged to prove this, of course, in a court of law, should you file a complaint).

Which is a good reason to use someone who supervised, and liked, you at a particular job as the work contact and list that person's work phone number when you list that particular job on your application.

By the way, a year or so ago, as I have previously mentioned, I hired an online company to pretend to be a prospective employer and contact all my past employers to request references and feedback. I was shocked at how times have changed!

Several employers did not keep ANY records of employees who had been gone more than 2 or 3 years and couldn't even verify dates, or simply the fact that I had ever been employed there. Some others had subcontracted their HR function to private companies who had NO information at all or who were able ONLY to verify dates.

Obviously, companies have figured out that to maintain these records and to respond to reference inquiries only costs them money. So they don't do it (or do it very scantily).

The problem when you look for jobs seems to be for the prospective employer to find someone--anyone--who can even usefully take the phone call. Which is why I follow my own advice in the first paragraph.

Specializes in Med/Surg, ER, L&D, ICU, OR, Educator.

I have never heard of this...and I'm involved in the interviewing of new nurses. (I haven't applied for a new job myself in over 10 years though.)

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