With high unemployment rates comes increased demand on human resource departments to provide employee references. Even though many employers increasingly shield themselves from providing insight into the former employment relationship by using resources such as http://www.theworknumber.com/, many future employers trying to get a sense of their possible future employee still try the old fashioned telephone call to see what shakes loose in the conversation.
What may shake loose, however, is a defamation claim, or even criminal liability. Many employers take false security behind a Virginia statute that provides only limited protection. In the context of high employee turnover, the following rules are worth reviewing.
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