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What can a former employer say in reference to former employee?

I'm in the middle of a job search and I'm wondering what my former employer can say about me in a reference? Isn't it true that MA law says all they can say is that the employee worked there from date X to date Y, and other harmless stuff like that?

 
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Editor's Response

No.  Massachusetts law does not place any such limits on what a employer can say about a former employee.  Of course, if the former employer lies when giving a reference, the employee in question may have a cause of action for slander.  That said, a lot of companies have policies in place that are designed to limit their exposure to law suits by limiting or specifying the type of information employees are allowed to give out about former employees.  Perhaps this is what you are thinking of.  (Because this is an active area for litigation, employers should definitely talk to a MA attorney with employment law experience about this issue.)  Good luck with your job search.

 

 

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