Originally Posted by droidfire
Yea, character references are dead in big business. Small business will still provide glowing reviews for good workers.
Mostly anymore it's simply a verification of employment within a specified time period from HR at large companies.
Can't recall exactly when maybe 1990 something - but there were a few court cases that changed companies view on giving references.
The obvious - not telling prospective employers that the X employee was a child molesting drunk that stole company assets to pay for his coke habit - had been in use for a long time.
Never say anything bad seemed reasonable -
Many companies were using the - if it is a good reference then go ahead and tell the person asking that the person was a good employee - hard worker - smart - whatever - how can telling them good things hurt you - just don't say anything bad.
Then a few companies - relying on the good reference from the prior employer - ended up hiring someone that actually was a child molesting drunk with a drug problem.
BAM - they get sued for big bucks for only telling the good.
The next round - what really killed references was when a company got sued because they gave out good references for good employees - but if the former employee had some problems then they would say - sorry we don't give out references.
So then the company ended up losing a law suit - and paying some loser former employee a pile of cash - because the fact that they would not give out a reference on a bad person - but would give them out for a good former employee - told everyone that - no reference must mean something REALLY BAD.
At this point the only reasonable thing you can do is just say - we don't give references...