When someone leaves their job, they are naturally concerned about what kind of reference they will get from their employer.

There are companies that will verify the type of reference your former supervisor is providing to those who call. The cost is usually about $100 for their services.

Education, health care, and government are the career fields most likely to give employees a negative reference. Texas, Illinois, and New York are the states with employers who are most likely to malign former employees. In addition, employees who work for smaller companies will be defamed more often than those who work for larger companies. School employees are particularly impacted because many rely on school principals or assistant principals for their references. Unfortunately, these middle-level administrators do not have the advantages of a large human resources staff or attorneys to caution them about relaying bad words against employees, thereby putting the district in the path of a lawsuit.

Before paying for background checks, ask several questions of the company you choose:

  • How much will the service cost?
  • How long will it take to complete the audit?
  • Is the information reliable enough to use in a court case?

If the documentation reveals that reference comments are unfounded, hire a lawyer to determine if you or your career has been libeled or slandered.