What if anything can you do about the employer who refuses as a matter of ‘policy’ to give references at all?
A good reference from your current or former employer can be extremely important if you are looking for a new job. But how can you find out if you are being given a bad reference, and what can you do about it if you are?
It is very common, in correspondence or orally, to need to refer to other documents, be they statutes, case-law or evidence. You will very rarely write anything that does not talk about other documents.
It is well worth thinking about how you do this. Writing something like “Such and such was laid out in the company’s policy” can cause problems. Often the policy will be long, and there may even be more than one. Your reader will have to search through pages of documents to find what you are talking about. Even a short submission of a couple of pages, will probably refer to a dozen or so other documents at least, so these problems add up quickly.
If you suspect that your former employer is making it harder for you to get a new job by giving you an unfair reference, you…
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.