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“If you give a bad reference, and the person does not get the job, you could be liable for defamation. Comes in late, leaves early, bad time management, confusing communications etc. “Some employers have shied away from giving their employees a reference on their departure, good or bad, out of perceived concern for law suits relating the departing employees. He put me down as a reference for another company and I told them he was great just so I could get rid of him.

Designate one person to give references. By Kate Southam PROVIDING a reference about a former employee could land you … You may find yourself in legal trouble for failing to warn the new employer if these serious problems resurface in the employee's next job.

The same applies to an opinion with which the former employee may not agree. Unfortunately, they may ask you to give them a reference. In many instances, this co-worker may be asking you for a reference because you may have connections to this other organization and they’re hoping for a foot in the door. “You can give a bad reference, but it has its risks” explains Dan Kalish, Managing Partner at HKM Employment Attorneys. To avoid these risks, several companies have a policy that they will only give out dates of employment and last position held for all their former employees.” For example, a reference can show you do not have enough experience for a job or say that you were dismissed . However, many employers are scared to give bad references because anything considered to be not 100% accurate could be grounds for legal action.

TL;DR - work colleague is a good guy but bad worker. Give a bad reference and they worry the departing employee may bring a suit for defamation. Giving a job reference could be legally dangerous, warns workplace lawyer.

You may choose to give only name, rank, and serial number, but, if you give a more expansive reference, don't hide the bad news. Writing a letter of recommendation for an average employee who didn’t meet your expectations is a tricky task.

Giving an employee reference - be careful! However, it might also be bad if it is one that puts you at risk for having given it. Employees could potentially sue if they claim your account is unfair but one industry lawyer says honesty is at the crux of the issue.

What Can Go Wrong. With this being said, there are some instances where bad employee references can be useful. Weekly dilemma: References for poor former employees By Personnel Today on 16 Nov 2010 in Legal Q&A , Recruitment & retention , References I have received a reference request from an employee I was pleased to get rid of. When bad employees tell you they are looking for a new job, you may breathe a sigh of relief. There are times when a manager is contacted by a potential employer and has to give a negative reference for a current or former employee. The potential employer needs to know the truth about the job candidate, but you can give an honest and sincere reference without bad-mouthing the worker. If the bad reference was true, you are safeguarded by the law, which means the employee likely has little to no legal recourse. The legal risks of giving a bad reference. Writing a negative reference … By Alison Green @askamanager.

Refrain from adding negative or false information in your reference letter to avoid legal action. What to Do When a Bad Employee Asks for a Reference When you don't have much good to say about a former employee, what should you tell reference checkers?