When I worked in Human Resources I was often surprised at what employers would tell me about their former employees. One manager told me, when I was checking references, that the person I was asking about was always late for work.
Another person told me the candidate I was calling about wouldn't ever work overtime or help out when the office was really busy. She added that attitude was an issue, as well.
Job seekers are sometimes surprised at what employers can say about former employees. I received an email the other day from someone who thought that his former employer could only release his dates of employment and salary. So, even though he was fired, he thought it was fine to say he was laid-off.
Unfortunately, that's not usually the case. There are some state laws governing what can be disclosed, but they vary from state to state and not every state has them. There are no federal laws restricting what information an employer can disclose about former employees. If you were fired or terminated from employment, the company can say so. However, what the company says has to be factual, or it may be subject to a lawsuit for slander or libel.
That's why many companies have policies which do limit the information they will provide to dates of employment, salary, and job title. Some companies don't though and some don't even think about what they should or shouldn't say. Here's more information on what employers can say about you and what you can do to ensure that your story on why you left matches up with your former employer's version of your departure.
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