What is so hard

Published

  • Specializes in Oncology, radiology, ICU. Has 16 years experience.

for workplaces to give references? I got a message today saying that my former workplaces wouldn't give references so now I have to give them names of former co-workers to get them from. I read the questions on the back of the reference sheets they mailed out while I was filling them out and the only questions on them were Would you rehire this person, did this person call off more/less than expected, and another question along those lines I can't remember at this moment. Nothing invasive but according to the message the hospitals refused to give any reference. I know employers aren't suppose to give detailed references but these seemed like standard questions. Am I wrong to be aggravated? I really want this job and I just feel like I take 2 steps forward only to take 3 steps back.

xtxrn, ASN, RN

4,266 Posts

They must have been burned in the past... In the future, get written reference letters from all employers, and keep them with your resume'. :)

NellieOlsen

122 Posts

You wouldn't think it'd be that difficult. I'd be annoyed too. I used to give references at my former job. It took all of 2 minutes. Pull up employee info, confirm the dates of employment and position held. Done.

Aurora77

861 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 4 years experience.

I think it's concern over future lawsuits. If your former employer says yes, you were a good employee, there could conceivably be grounds for suit if you turn out to be a bad employee at your next job. Or so it was explained to me in a training session at my former job. Seems like a reach to me, but many places will now only say if you did work there and if you're eligible for rehire.

littlewingrn

53 Posts

I may be wrong here, I am sure someone will correct me, but an employment verification (ie. title, date of hire, date of term) is appropriate for any employer to answer if contacted by potential employers. Legally, this is all the information that must be provided. An employee reference is something else entirely. Employee references go into great detail about an employees performance. Say you don't get a job based on someone's opinion of you (employee reference), you would then have the opportunity to go after that person for not getting the job. In this day and age of sue happy people, I am sure it has happened - which is why no one wants to give employee references anymore.

dreamingofbeing

127 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, radiology, ICU. Has 16 years experience.

I knew that employers were basically allowed to only say if they would rehire you, the position you held, and the dates you were employed. The questions really were that simple except they asked about my attendance habits which I feel is reasonable in asking about, not something I could dispute or anything. I just really want this job and I'm getting discouraged. I have really good references in past co-workers (2 were preceptors) and a current doctor that I work with so I'm hoping I can use them.

tyvin, BSN, RN

1,620 Posts

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.
I may be wrong here, I am sure someone will correct me, but an employment verification (ie. title, date of hire, date of term) is appropriate for any employer to answer if contacted by potential employers. Legally, this is all the information that must be provided. An employee reference is something else entirely. Employee references go into great detail about an employees performance. Say you don't get a job based on someones opinion of you (employee reference), you would then have the opportunity to go after that person for not getting the job. In this day and age of sue happy people, I am sure it has happened - which is why no one wants to give employee references anymore.

You are correct ... and if other things are disclosed that's a big no no. They're not answering due to the legality of the issue. I mean really, shouldn't the place you're trying to work for know that?

miss_meg

14 Posts

Most employers will not give references, and will not allow managers to either. They will usually confirm your dates of employment and whether or not you are eligible for rehire. It is sometimes possible to get a former boss to say something "off the record". For instance, my former employer technically did not allow managers to provide references, but my old boss helped me out by writing something like "I'm not permitted to give out references, but I will say that she is very organized and has good computer skills".

Supervisors at most businesses are not supposed to give out references. Some of them will do it anyway, others will tow the line and always refer prospective employers to H.R. H.R. people will only give out the minimum information that they can legally, like how long you worked there and your rehire status. They will generally have a very neutral tone.

Be aware when asking a manager or supervisor for a reference that it might be against policy for them to write one for you even if they would be happy to do it.

On the plus side, if you ever end up leaving a job on less then good terms, they shouldn't be able to blab about it to a prospective employer.