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Disclaimers in agreed references

Respondents will sometimes want to include a disclaimer in an agreed reference. Such a disclaimer will say something to the effect of:

This reference is given in good faith, but without legal liability for actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

The employee may, understandably, feel that this will undermine an otherwise good reference.

To some extent this is true. A disclaimer does take some of the gleam from even the most glowing reference. Despite this, disclaimers are common and, like short, factual references, are more likely to be seen as part of the ex-employer’s standard practice than an indication of a problem. If an employer insists on a disclaimer, it should not be viewed as a deal breaker.

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